Pennsylvania’s School Safety Task Force Hears from Students, Others in the North Central Region

May 18, 2018

Mill Hall, PA – As the nation mourns for the victims of the tragedy in Texas today, the Pennsylvania’s School Safety Task Force met at Central Mountain High School in Clinton County to discuss ways to keep our schools safe and protect students.

“Frances and I join all Pennsylvanians in mourning the loss of innocent lives in Texas,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Our children deserve to go to school without fearing for their lives and parents should be confident their kids will be safe in the classroom. This senseless tragedy demonstrates the incredibly important work of this task force to bring together people from across the state to find real solutions to keep our kids safe.”

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; Judy Morgitan, Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners and Dolores McCracken, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

“Today’s heartbreaking news from Texas about yet another school shooting shows that we must accelerate our push to make our schools safer,” said Auditor General DePasquale. “It is clear to me from our meetings with students over the past few weeks that students play a critical role in this effort. This generation of students is bright, perceptive, and brimming with ideas on how to better the world around them.”

This is the fourth of six task force meetings in Pennsylvania to gather perspectives from local communities. The task force will issue a report by the end of June.

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.

The public is invited to share their recommendations for improving schools security online at https://www.governor.pa.gov/school-safety-feedback/. The task force will use the feedback when preparing a final report.

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