Senior staff writer
Beech Grove sophomore Alyssa Hockett is on a mission.
She wants to make all Beech Grove schools safe, and she seeks the help of the community through a student-driven fundraising drive that would supplement the district’s security.
Hockett wants to make a special device available for each classroom door to further enhance security in the classroom.
“This is all about a way that adds to the safety of students,” Hockett explained. “No student should be scared or nervous in class anywhere, trying get an education. This is a way for students to feel more secure.”
She estimates that the cost of an easily placed mechanical device for each classroom in the district at $31,500. Students would raise $16,000 from businesses, alumni, civic groups, students, residents and school events with an agreement that the school board would approve matching funds. She plans to appear in front of the board May 8 and has met with administrators.
“This is about security in the schools, regardless of how anyone feels about any political subject,” Hockett said.
Principal Elizabeth Walters is supportive because a student is opening a conversation with the community about school security.
“We benefit as a school. She is going to benefit through the process, but her true goal is to make sure the community has a conversation about school safety because we all have to be part of that conversation,” Walters said in an interview with Fox 59.
Hockett wants a unique bar (Barracuda BS-1) in all classrooms that allows a door to be barricaded from the inside for additional protection from an intruder.
She has helped in forming a high school group, STORM (Special Team of Role Models), to reach out to students throughout the district. She wants to speak out against bullying, especially with middle school students.
She envisions a STORM team that would inform high schoolers about school safety and all students about how proactive safety.
Her drive for additional school security is an outgrowth of her activities. She holds a first degree black belt, has taken part in active shooter seminars and assisted in a preventative child-abduction seminar.
Hockett is training to become Community Emergency Reaction Team-certified through Homeland Security at the East District of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
She has three sisters and is the daughter of Crissy Grider, a Beech Grove alumna and former secretary of the high school’s Alumni Association, and Michael Hockett.
Hockett was spurred by the tragic shooting that killed 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., and an earlier shooting that killed two students in December at Aztec (N.M.) High. Her awareness was raised by recent threats at two high schools in central Indiana.
Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/safety-is-priceless. Checks, with a notation: Safety is Priceless, can be mailed to the Beech Grove Education Foundation, 53345 Hornet Ave., Beech Grove, IN 46107.