Harrisburg –Senators Scott Martin (R-13) and Bob Mensch (R-24) have introduced a Senate Resolution that calls for a comprehensive review of school safety in Pennsylvania.
The resolution would require the Joint State Government Commission to work with schools, law enforcement and other entities to assess safety measures that are currently in place and determine what steps schools have taken to evaluate and improve school safety. School safety practices in other states would also be examined to determine whether those strategies could work in Pennsylvania schools.
The Commission will also be tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of gun-free policies in schools, as well as reviewing Pennsylvania’s background check system for firearm purchases.
“Recent tragedies have created a renewed emphasis on protecting students against senseless acts of violence,” Martin said. “The first step in improving school safety is taking a closer look at strategies that have been implemented successfully here in Pennsylvania and in other states, while at the same time trying to identify areas where we have room for improvement.”
“The issue of school safety is extremely broad and complex, but there is obviously a need to review every facet of this problem to determine what is working and what we can do better,” Mensch said. “I am optimistic that the findings of this study will help guide lawmakers in taking meaningful steps to address weaknesses in the system that could lead to a tragedy.”
The Commission’s report on school safety is expected to include information on the number of schools that have received a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment by Pennsylvania State Police in the last 10 years and whether schools took action on the resulting safety recommendations.
“Improving school safety should not be a controversial or partisan issue,” Mensch said. “Each school across the state and the country has its own strategies in place to protect students. This study offers an opportunity to build upon that foundation and expand the use of proven strategies to prevent school violence.”
“Young people throughout the country rallied last weekend to be better protected against violence in schools, and their voices deserve to be heard,” Martin said. “We may not agree on every proposed solution, but we certainly share a common goal of reducing the risk of dangerous situations that endanger young people.”
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535