How an Indiana high school became ‘America’s safest school’

(NBC Nightly News)

SHELBYVILLE, IN (NBC NEWS) – Tucked away in Central Indiana, there is a high school that carries the distinction of being called “America’s safest school.”

Students and teachers at Southwestern High School undergo practice drills and the building is equipped with automated lockdown features.

Cameras in the school are wired directly to the local sheriff’s office. Each classroom has a red line that marks spots in the room that can’t be seen from the door window. Every teacher has a box with a personal panic button.

NBC’s Jeff Rosen went inside the school for a demonstration of what the system is capable of.

As Rosen walked through the halls, the Sheriff’s office tracked his every move. Every door was locked. When he approached a ‘hot zone,’ smoke cannons hidden in the ceiling managed to disorient Rosen.

The system costs around $400,000, but school administrators say it is worth it. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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