Pennsylvania’s School Safety Task Force Meets in Allegheny County, Completes Statewide Listening Tour

June 12, 2018

Churchill, PA – Concluding a series of meetings to hear from students, parents, school officials, law enforcement, healthcare experts, and residents, the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force met today at Woodland Hills High School in Allegheny County. This is the final of six listening session held throughout Pennsylvania to gather perspectives from local communities.

“Our schools must be a place where students and teachers can feel safe in the classroom and focus their attention on learning,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “The ideas and experiences that students, parents, and many others have shared with the task force over the past few weeks will be invaluable to help find ways to protect our schools.”

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.

“After meeting with students, school officials, mental health professionals, law enforcement officials and others across the state, it is clear to me that Pennsylvania can do more to make our schools safer,” said Auditor General DePasquale. “We must work together and implement the good ideas that came out of each of these meetings.”

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.

The task force will issue a report this summer.

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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