Task Force Hears School Safety Ideas

Arming Teachers Unlikely

Joe DeStio
June 12, 2018 - 5:10 pm

PITTSBURGH (News Radio 1020 KDKA) – The Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force is hearing from students, teachers, parents, police, and community leaders on how to better protect classrooms. The meeting at Woodland Hills High School made it clear to task force members that a one size fits all approach in a state like Pennsylvania won’t work. But state Education Secretary Pedro Rivera says there are recurring themes.

“Every single one of our listening sessions, first and foremost, parents, students, educators, community members have addressed the mental health needs, the social-emotional needs of students.”

The topic of arming school teachers also came up. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale who sits on the commission is unalterably opposed to teachers with guns in school. But he says, “There is some strong belief that there should be some additional security by people that are trained to do the needed work.”

The Woodland Hills session was the last of six task force meetings around the state. Now, members will put their notes together and come up with a report that will be shared with school districts before it is released. Pennsylvania Homeland Security chief Marcus Brown says there’s no simple solution. The report will list a series of best practices covering everything from armed security guards, to metal detectors, to mental health issues to nutrition.