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Day’s Measure to Enhance School Security Receives House Approval
6/17/2016
HARRISBURG – As a way to help improve school safety, legislation authored by Rep. Gary Day (R-Lehigh/Berks) to require a school security drill each year passed the state House this week.

House Bill 2087, which would only affect public schools in Pennsylvania, is the result of Day’s work as chairman of the bipartisan House Select Committee on School Safety and Security last session. The committee reviewed and investigated the state’s current laws, regulations, and policies concerning safety and security in our K-12 schools and institutions of higher education.

“As we learned during our review of state law with respect to school safety and security, a safe learning environment is a necessary precursor to the successful education of Pennsylvania’s children and young adults,” Day said. “When children cannot concentrate on their schoolwork because they don’t feel safe in their classrooms, they cannot learn effectively.”

After a series of hearings with administrators, teachers, police officers and security experts, the committee recommended that a security drill, much like a fire drill, be held annually.

“Numerous schools already conduct lockdown and active-shooter drills and coordinate with local law enforcement to develop such security procedures,” Day said. “Although we hope that no violence takes place inside a school, we heard from school officials and law enforcement that these drills are helpful in terms of preparation and in putting students’ and teachers’ minds at ease, knowing a plan exists.

Additionally, the bill would allow local public schools to be flexible in shaping these drills according to the needs of their communities. School security drills could include many types of planned exercise, including acts of terrorism, armed intruder situations or other violent threats. Finally, this legislation would require schools to inform local law enforcement and emergency management services of plans to conduct these drills to ensure adequate coordination and input from these entities.

To help minimize any burden this would place on schools, this drill could take the place of fire drill, which is already mandated by state law.

The bill is also co-authored by Reps. Craig Staats (R-Bucks) and Sid Kavulich (D-Lackawanna).

The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Gary Day
187th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
717.705.2094
jkeaton@pahousegop.com
RepGaryDay.com / Facebook.com/RepGaryDay

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