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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 9, 2016 03:33 PM
From: Representative Gary Day and Rep. Craig T. Staats, Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich
To: All House members
Subject: School Security Drill Legislation
In the near future, I, along with Representative Craig Staats and Representative Sid Kavulich, plan to introduce legislation to enhance school safety and security while limiting the burden any additional measures may place on our public schools.
Last session, as you may remember, the House empowered a bipartisan Select Committee to review and investigate the state's current laws, regulations, and policies concerning safety and security in our K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. Over the course of seven months, the Select Committee received testimony from stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth and carefully gathered information to inform its recommendations.
As a result of its deliberative investigation, the Select Committee produced, and ultimately unanimously approved, a comprehensive report of findings and recommendations to provide guidance to the General Assembly on this important issue moving forward. Notably, among its recommendations, the Select Committee urged consideration of a requirement for schools to conduct lockdown and active-shooter drills and coordinate with local law enforcement to develop such security procedures.
With these recommendations in mind, we will shortly be introducing legislation to require each public school to complete a school security drill annually. This legislation, however, will limit the burden placed on our public schools by allowing schools to perform the safety and security drill in place of a fire drill, which current law already requires schools to perform monthly. Furthermore, to provide our local public schools with the flexibility to shape these drills according to the needs of their communities, the bill provides that such school security drills may include many types of planned exercise, including acts of terrorism, armed intruder situations, or other violent threats. Finally, this legislation will require schools to inform local enforcement and emergency management services of plans to conduct these drills to ensure adequate coordination and input from these entities.
A safe learning environment is a necessary precursor to the successful education of Pennsylvania's children and young adults. I hope that you will join us in supporting these common-sense measure to keep our students, teachers, and communities safe.

Introduced as HB2087