Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released the full report from the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
A Pennsylvania task force commissioned by Gov. Wolf in the aftermath of February’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school calls on school officials and students – and, when necessary, police – to better communicate with each other about potential threats, and urges schools to step up mental health services, including more psychologists and nurses.
The task force conducted several regional roundtable events where they received input from students, parents, school officials, school nurses and other health care professionals, law enforcement, education organizations and community members about how to improve safety and security. Feedback was also collected from hundreds of people via an online survey.
Ideas in the report for how to improve school safety include:
- Improving communication and information sharing
- Enhancing social and emotional learning
- Increasing 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
The report includes detailed recommendations on how everyone involved can work together to prevent school-based violence from occurring.
“After reading the full report, I am impressed by the frank and honest discussions that the task force had with students, teachers, administrators and law enforcement and I commend them for the important and comprehensive recommendations to protect our students and schools,” said Governor Wolf. “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.”
This report is part of Governor Wolf’s commitment to school safety. His 2018-19 budget includes an additional $60 million to help school districts address their individual needs for school safety.