This week, members of the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force released their report that was commissioned earlier this year.
Gov. Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said the report created by information gathered from talking to experts, hearing from residents online, and six regional task force meetings held from April through June across the state.
The 61-page report lays out a number of themes, including recommendations, barriers and opportunities.
The most common themes to increase security at schools include:
- Improved communication and information sharing
- Enhanced social and emotional learning
- Increased access to mental health services, including more health professionals in schools
- Building community connections
- Effectively integrating law enforcement and school resource officers
- Providing guidance on establishing priorities for schools
- Providing schools with more resources
“It’s abundantly clear that by working together, schools, communities and the state can take a holistic approach to make our classrooms a safe place for students to learn. Our focus is on preventing violence that threatens schools, while also taking every precaution to protect and provide security for students and teachers,” Wolf said.
“I want to thank the students, teachers, parents and community leaders who shared their personal experiences and provided invaluable input to our task force,” said DePasquale.
Separately from the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force, the state’s 2018-2019 budget included $60 million in grants that will be distributed to schools to address security needs. Also, a new School Safety and Security Committee with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will be set up.