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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 1, 2018 09:52 AM
From: Representative Dan Frankel
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing a statewide school safety advisory committee
In the aftermath of the horrific massacre of 26 young children, teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, the Governor of Connecticut established a commission to provide a comprehensive review of school policies to make recommendations with particular attention paid to school safety, gun violence prevention and mental health.

Students and schools in Pennsylvania have also been the victims of violence and there are lingering questions, concerns and fear, especially in light of recent events. Twenty years ago, this General Assembly created the Office of Safe Schools within the Department of Education. Now, more than ever, we need to know what has been done to keep our schools safe and what more we must do to protect students.

My legislation will establish a 21-person commission, comprised of parents, teachers, school board members, school administrators, mental health professionals, and law enforcement. The committee will review laws, policies, and practices in place and make recommendations to reduce the probability of mass-casualty violence at our schools in the future. The committee will then share this information with the Office of Safe Schools, State Police, the Governor, the General Assembly, and schools across the Commonwealth. An interim report would be submitted within 9 months; a final report from the committee would be due in 2 years.

Many of us have worthwhile ideas on what should be done today to curb school violence. This resolution is not an excuse for delay. However, with so many schools and school districts in our state, it is imperative that we review the protocol already in place and then, more importantly, find out what else we can do to keep our kids, our schools and our communities safe.

Please join me in support of this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2165