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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 5, 2018 11:51 AM
From: Representative Pam Snyder
To: All House members
Subject: Crisis Training for School Teachers and Staff
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that will ensure that all teachers and staff across the commonwealth are properly and accurately trained when confronted with an emergency situation.

Our primary duty is to protect the 1.74 million students in the Commonwealth. Training and drills are very important to ensure that students and teachers are prepared in the event that an emergency occurs and they need to evacuate the school building.

It is known that when faced with an emergency situation, a person becomes entirely different. Many are likely to freeze up, unable to move, or run from the building. When placed in danger, human instincts take over. Having trained teachers can ease these instincts, and will ultimately save lives in the event of an emergency situation.

In 2002, the United States Secret Service and the United States Department of Education conducted a study taking a closer look at 37 incidents of targeted school violence. According to the study, there is no accurate profile of a "school shooter". In addition, the study found that 47 percent of the situations lasted 15 minutes or less. In this time, it is critical for schools to have prevention efforts and well-trained teachers in place to implement response plans in established by the school.

Currently, schools are providing annual professional development workshops and trainings for all
members of their staffs. The Office for Safe Schools (OSS), provides support and technical assistance. Training coordinators are located in Intermediate Units throughout the commonwealth, and are able to provide schools with the necessary resources and training.

This legislation will require that crisis training be incorporated into in-service training at some point during the school year. This training would also provide teachers with credits towards their requirements of Act 48 (Teacher Continuing Education).

The goal of this legislation is to improve teacher training and ensure that all students are safe. Please join me in co-sponsoring this much needed legislation.

Introduced as HB2287