NAPANEE, Ind. (WFFT) - Voters in Kosciusko and Elkhart County will decide on a tax increase to pay for school security.
Wa-Nee Community Schools has a referendum on the November ballot for security improvements.
The district recently converted all the schools to a "secure entrance" building, forcing visitors into the office before the rest of the school.
Superintendent Dr. Scot Croner said he wants to take it a step farther, including putting a film on the windows making them bullet-resistant and special lanyards to put a school on lockdown.
"We'll just make it more difficult for someone to gain access to our students," said Croner.
Croner said he started the conversation with members of the community after a teacher and a student were shot at Noblesville West Middle School in May.
"I think this community would agree the safety of our students is well worth the investment," he said.
Parents told FOX 55 they agree with the upgrades.
Plans also include adding a school resource officer so there one in Napanee and another in Wakarusa.
"Obviously seconds are precious. Having a law enforcement officer parked in front of the building is a pretty strong deterrent," Croner said.
The referendum would also pay to hire certified mental health counselors for students.
Croner said this is so more students will have access to the resources they need.
"We also want to eliminate the stigma of going out of the building and going to facility for that mental health treatment. We want our folks to know and our students to know it's ok," said Croner.
He estimated the tax increase would cost the average taxpayer an extra $67 a year.
Croner added the money won't go toward putting guns in schools.
"We don't allow our teachers access to the thermostat. That's because they are focused on educating kids," he told FOX 55.
If the referendum would happen to fail, the Croner said they will still look at ways to at least offer counseling services to students.
To learn more about Wa-Nee's referendum, visit their website.
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