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06/25/2024 03:59 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=39547
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 27, 2023 12:22 PM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting School Crossing Guards (formerly HB 1579)
 
School crossing guards play an important role in ensuring the safety of children who walk or bicycle to and from school.  In the past few years, there have been multiple incidents across the Commonwealth in which an on-duty crossing guard has been attacked by a disgruntled driver.  These assailants often do not face adequate consequences, as crossing guards are not given protection under a statute that assigns a higher grade and harsher penalties to those who assault certain individuals, such as school district employees and those assisting law enforcement. 
 
In 2017, a Pennsylvania Superior Court judge ruled in favor of charging a Philadelphia resident with aggravated assault after fighting with an on-duty school crossing guard.  The aggravated assault charge was based on the guard’s role in assisting local law enforcement, as they were not employed by the school district.  While the judge in this case decided in favor of a just sentence, other judges may not do so because they are not legally required to.  In an effort to eliminate this gray area, I am introducing legislation that will codify protection for crossing guards and give attackers the punishment they deserve.
 
Please join me in protecting those who protect our children by supporting this important legislation



Introduced as HB539