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PRINTER'S NO. 118
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
124
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY D. MILLER, STEPHENS, A. DAVIS, MURT, YOUNGBLOOD,
SIMMONS, HILL-EVANS, KORTZ, McCLINTON AND GILLEN,
JANUARY 28, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, JANUARY 28, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in safe schools, providing for school
safety requirements; and, in terms and courses of study,
further providing for fire and emergency evacuation drills.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a
section to read:
Section 1302.2-A. School Safety Requirements.--(a) Each
school entity shall be subject to an annual safety assessment
audit that reviews the school entity's school safety plan to
determine compliance with the requirements of this section. The
safety assessment audit shall be conducted by police officers
with a certification in physical security training from the
Department of Homeland Security.
(b) Each school entity shall have a school safety plan that
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may be districtwide or school-specific but shall, at a minimum,
detail the following:
(1) Age-appropriate programs and plans for violence
prevention, crisis intervention, emergency response and
management.
(2) Communication strategies during emergencies within the
school and with parents, law enforcement and other emergency
responders.
(3) Detailed information regarding drill requirements,
emergency plans, building security and related infrastructure,
as well as the memorandum of understanding described in section
1302-A(b)(6) and the disaster response and emergency
preparedness plan as required by 35 Pa.C.S. ยง 7701(g) (relating
to duties concerning disaster prevention).
(4) Specific information regarding the establishment and
maintenance of a threat assessment team, as determined by the
school entity.
(c) Each school entity shall establish and develop policies
for a threat assessment team that may service one or more
schools as determined by the school entity. A threat assessment
team:
(1) Shall include, at a minimum, individuals with experience
in counseling, instruction and school administration, and may
include other personnel as deemed necessary as long as student
privacy rights are maintained.
(2) Shall assess a student whose behavior or comments
suggest that the student may pose a threat to the safety of the
student, other students, faculty or staff based on information
of which the school was made aware or which the school legally
obtained.
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(3) Shall notify the chief school administrator of the
threat assessment team's determination.
(d) The chief school administrator shall notify the parents
or guardians of the student when the threat assessment team has
determined that the student may pose a threat to the safety of
the student, other students, faculty or staff and may refer the
matter to law enforcement.
(e) A student who may pose a threat to the safety of the
student, other students, faculty or staff who has a current
individualized education program or qualified 504 plan shall be
scheduled for an individualized education program or 504 meeting
to consider additional support services.
(f) A threat assessment team shall:
(1) Meet regularly as determined to be necessary by the
chief school administrator in order to assess the progress of a
student who the threat assessment team has determined may pose a
threat to the safety of the student, other students, faculty or
staff until the determination is no longer substantiated to the
best of the information available to the threat assessment team.
(2) When appropriate, provide guidance to students, faculty
and staff regarding recognition of threatening or aberrant
behavior that may represent a threat to the students, faculty or
staff.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude
school personnel from acting immediately to address an imminent
threat.
(h) No member of a threat assessment team may disclose
student information protected or privileged by law to anyone
otherwise not entitled to the information.
(i) Each school entity shall submit in an annual report to
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the office the following:
(1) The number of threat assessment team meetings.
(2) The number of students the threat assessment team has
determined may pose a threat to the student, other students,
faculty or staff.
(3) The race and gender of students the threat assessment
team has determined may pose a threat to the student, other
students, faculty or staff.
(4) Certification that the safety assessment audit was
completed.
(j) Each school entity shall provide the Pennsylvania State
Police or municipal police department that has jurisdiction over
the school entity with current blueprints for each building of
the school entity and provide updated blueprints as changes are
made to the building layout.
(k) Any chief school administrator or member of the faculty
or staff of a school entity who in good faith acts or omits to
act in furtherance of a power authorized or duty imposed under
this section shall not be liable for any civil damages as a
result of such act or omission, except for any act or omission
intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent act or
omission that results in harm to a student or member of the
faculty or staff.
(l) As used in this section:
"Chief school administrator" shall mean a superintendent of a
public school district, superintendent of an area vocational-
technical school, executive director of an intermediate unit,
chief executive officer of a charter school or cyber charter
school or an administrative designee of a nonpublic school or
private school.
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"Safety assessment audit" shall mean an annual review of a
school entity safety plan conducted by police officers with a
certification in physical security training from the Department
of Homeland Security.
"School entity" shall mean a public school district, joint
school district, charter school, cyber charter school, private
school, nonpublic school, intermediate unit or area vocational-
technical school operating within this Commonwealth.
Section 2. Section 1517(a.1) of the act, amended June 22,
2018 (P.L.241, No.39), is amended to read:
Section 1517. Fire and Emergency Evacuation Drills.--* * *
(a.1) [Within ninety (90) days of the commencement of the
school year after the effective date of this subsection and
within ninety (90) days of the commencement of each school year
thereafter, each] Each school entity shall conduct [one] two
school security [drill] drills per school year in each school
building, which may be in place of [a fire drill] the fire
drills required under subsection (a). [After ninety (90) days
from the commencement of each school year, each school entity
may conduct two school security drills per school year in each
school building in place of two fire drills required under
subsection (a).] All of the following shall apply:
(1) The school security [drill] drills shall be conducted
while the school entity is in session and students are present
under policies adopted by the chief school administrator.
(2) The chief school administrator or a designee shall
oversee the instruction and training of students and school
employees in the procedures to be used in the school security
[drill] drills.
(3) The chief school administrator shall notify and request
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assistance from the local law enforcement agency and emergency
management agency before conducting the school security [drill]
drills.
(4) The chief school administrator shall provide notice of
the school security [drill] drills in advance to parents and
legal guardians of the students attending the school building
for which the school security [drill is] drills are scheduled.
* * *
Section 3. The amendment of section 1517(a.1) of the act
shall apply to school years that begin after the effective date
of this section.
Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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