PREPARING AMERICA: Inside the safest school in the nation

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Its technology is straight out of a James Bond film. A video surveillance system connected to the sheriff’s office. Hallways equipped with smoke cannons. Panic buttons strapped to teachers. These are just a few of the reasons why Southwestern High School in Shelbyville, Indiana is being hailed as “the safest school in America.”

Dr. Paula Maurer, superintendent of Southwestern Consolidated Schools, told told WXIN-TV in Indianapolis, “I think that Newtown, Sandy Hook, really made people understand, made us all understand this could happen to us. Now is the time to do something about it. We have some answers. We have the technology. We have ways to make our kids safer, and we have to do it.”

Additional capabilities of the Southwestern High School system include:

  • Real time tracking of suspects.
  • Automatic lock down and bullet proof doors.
  • Notification system for teachers to let authorities know their classroom is safe.

In 2014, the school was picked to be the first of its kind, connected directly to officers.

In a statement released after its unveiling, Indiana Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Steve Luce called it a “paradigm change in public safety.”

“Your children deserve to be safe, you as parents deserve to have your kids come home safely to you after school, your teachers deserve to be teachers and not bodyguards, your communities deserve to move to a higher standard of safety in all your educational environments,” Luce said in a statement. “You deserve to be protected by the Best Practice Solution.”

The cost of the system is reportedly $400,000.

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