PA’s School Safety Task Force Hears from Students, Others in the Northeast Region

LUZERNE CO., Pa. – Students, parents, law enforcement, health care experts, and others offered their suggestions on how to protect schools during a meeting of the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force today at Leo E. Solomon-Plains Memorial Elementary School in Plains, Luzerne County.

“Our schools and law enforcement already work together to protect students and teachers, but we must do more,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We need to listen to each other and the different challenges in various communities to find real solutions that strengthen protections and prevent violence.”

This is the third of six regional meetings in Pennsylvania to hear the perspectives of local communities. The public is invited to share their recommendations online at www.governor.pa.gov/school-safety-feedback.

The task force will issue a final report this summer.

“The most students should ever have to worry about in school is a pop quiz in algebra class,” DePasquale said. “Students should never have to worry whether or not they will be able to survive the school day unharmed. It will take all of us – adults and students alike – to work together to ensure that all of our schools are safe places for students to grow and learn.”

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is co-chairing the task force that includes: Charles Ramsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; Mark DiRocco, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators; Bonita Allen, President of the Pennsylvania Parent Teacher Association; and Judy Morgitan, Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners.

The priorities for the task force are:

  • Identifying recommendations to improve school safety;
  • Determining funding needs;
  • Examining the effectiveness of student supports;
  • Improving information sharing; and
  • Seeking tools for anonymous reporting of suspicious activity.

Supporting the work of the task force are Homeland Security Director Marcus Brown, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak, and Acting Colonel Robert Evanchick, Pennsylvania State Police.


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