FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness says he got the idea for holding a Thursday night’s town hall forum from the city’s police chief and Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ officials after a deadly shooting Dec. 8 at a high school in Oxford Township, Michigan.
“How do we find those kids, how do we assess those kids, how do we make sure we don’t have a situation where they are bringing a gun to school?” Fadness said.
Fishers police and Hamilton Southeastern Schools officials outlined their plan for assessing threats and acting on them.
Mike Johnson, a Fishers police commander, says the department’s school resource officers receive critical incident training. They also take an additional 40-hour course through the National Association of School Resource Officers, and training as school safety specialists from the Indiana Department of Education.
“What are special needs kids? What kind of services can we provide for them? How do we protect them in their own set of circumstances? Understanding what an IEP is, a 504, or the different things that provide educational services,” Johnson said.
Even during the town hall, officials were assessing the validity of a TikTok challenge going on that calls on users to threaten school violence on Friday. However, school officials say, the threats come in all shapes and sizes.
“I think that’s really the key to these systems: Put the right team in place so we can evaluate those threats and decide which one’s which, which one is goofing off and not using common sense, and hold those kids and accountable and identify the ones who are genuinely crying out for help,” the mayor said.
Regarding the TikTok threats, another Hamilton County school district, Westfield Washington, released a statement Thursday saying there have been no credible threats made to any of its schools, and schools will be in session Friday.
Parents were urged to discuss appropriate online behavior with their children during the Fishers town hall forum. The virtual event is available on the city’s Facebook page.