Wa-nee to vote on school safety proposal

NAPPANEE, Ind.- Wa-Nee Community Schools wants to update the safety of schools in the district but need residents to foot the bill.

The estimated budget for the proposal is $1,000,000 dollars annually, costing property owners within the Wa-Nee Community Schools district $5.39 per month. 

“Can we really put a price tag on the safety of our students? We basically are proposing a one million dollar operating referendum with the hopes of hiring mental health counselors, school resource officers, converting our half day alternative education program to a full day program. Just some additional equipment costs to make our kids safer," said Wa-Nee Community Schools Superintendent, Scot Croner.

The new changes would add more school resource officers, mental health counselors, expand their half day alternative education program to a full day program, and improvements to school buildings. 

The maximum amount to be collected over the eight year period would be $0.0959 per $100 assessed valuation. 

Local parents of students in the district said the increase is worth it.

“I not only have an elementary student, I have a middle school student and two high school students. So we want to be proactive instead of if something were to happen then think later why didn’t we put more in place? Why didn’t we have extra hands or take care of it before hand," said Kelli Escamilla.

In fact, there is only one school resource officer for the span of the entire district. 

In case of an emergency, it would take about 20 minutes to reach one end of the district beginning at Nappanee Elementary School to the end at Wakarusa Elementary School.

Other Nappanee residents believe the proposal is asking for too much.

“I just felt that was an awful amount of money to layout when I think that there’s other options available. I don’t know that putting more police in the schools is the answer. I believe the door is locked in any case," said Jean Purcell.

If the school safety referendum passes, Wa-Nee Community Schools can expect these changes to begin as early as this school year.

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