House Approves Education Committee School Safety Measures, Hickernell and Fee Say
HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives has voted to pass two pieces of school safety legislation that had been debated and approved by the House Education Committee just two weeks ago, said committee chairman Dave Hickernell (R-Lancaster/Dauphin).
The first measure, House Bill 2327, authored by Rep. Mindy Fee (R-Lancaster) and passed on June 11, would allow public school entities, such as school boards, to go into private, executive session for school safety discussions. This would prevent information about a school’s security measures from falling into the wrong hands and compromising student safety.
“School districts across Pennsylvania are developing and implementing strategies and security plans to help increase school safety and keep students safe in the event of an intruder entering the campus,” Fee said. “As security plans work better when an adversary does not know what you are planning, this legislation will grant public school entities the ability to freely debate and develop security plans that address the needs and weaknesses of their schools without disclosing their plans to would-be attackers.”
The second measure, House Bill 2215, authored by Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich (D-Lackawanna) and passed today, requires schools to conduct at least one school security drill each year, and would stipulate that schools may substitute two additional school security drills (in addition to the one required drill per school year) for two fire drills, within 90 days of the commencement of the school year.
“The bipartisan effort put forth on these two pieces of legislation, and the fact the House acted so quickly to move them over to the Senate speaks to the desire on both sides of the aisle of the Education Committee to put the safety of our students first,” Hickernell said. “These two bills may seem like small steps, but I believe we are on our way to really giving school boards and administrators some tools to make their schools safer. I am also hopeful our final 2018-19 state budget includes some extra money for new school safety measures.”
Representative Dave Hickernell
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner