Senate Approves Bill Allowing School Security Matters to be Discussed in Executive Session

(HARRISBURG) – Local school districts and governments would be permitted to discuss school security matters in executive session under legislation passed today by the state Senate, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-34). 

Senate Bill 1078 passed unanimously. Corman said the bill balances common sense concerns about protecting sensitive discussions and documents involving school security with the public’s “right to know.”

Corman said a recent school shooting in Florida has prompted school districts in Pennsylvania to re-examine, update and strengthen their security plans to better protect students, including identifying potential weaknesses in their current plans.  However, if made public, this information could compromise school safety efforts and put students at risk.

“While I strongly support transparency, it makes no sense to give someone who intends to commit an act of violence against our schools access to the plans being adopted to prevent a tragedy,” Corman said. “We want our schools to be safe and to work with local and state law enforcement to develop comprehensive safety plans. We want them to do so without compromising safety.”

More than half of the states currently have measures in place which allow for security and safety matters to be discussed in non-public executive session.

“This measure balances openness and transparency with our desire to safeguard our children while they are at school,” Corman said.  “This sensible approach will help our school districts, local governments and first responders as they develop new school safety plans and procedures that will hopefully become national models.”

CONTACT: Jenn Kocher (717) 787-1377 or jkocher@pasen.gov