PSEA President: Threat assessment legislation will help keep schools and students safe

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PSEA President: Threat assessment legislation will help keep schools and students safe

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Chris Lilienthal (717) 255-7134
David Broderic (717) 255-7169

HARRISBURG, PA (June 11, 2019) – Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, issued the following statement on House Bill 1423 and Senate Bill 729, legislation that would require public schools to establish threat assessment teams to assess and prevent violence before it starts. Earlier today, the Senate Education Committee approved SB 729, and the House Education Committee approved HB 1423.

“Preventing violence in schools before it starts is, by far, the best way to keep our public schools safe,” Askey said. “Establishing threat assessment teams in public schools and creating connections between those teams and the successful Safe2Say program is an excellent step in that direction.

“Taken together, these measures will definitely make a difference in our schools. We encourage lawmakers to continue the good work they’ve done on school safety initiatives and send these bills to the governor’s desk.

“We commend Rep. Ortitay, Sen. Costa, and all lawmakers and stakeholders who came together to craft this important legislation. Ensuring that our public schools are safe places to learn and teach is a top priority for every Pennsylvanian. These bills are another important step toward doing just that.”

Establishing threat assessment teams in public schools was among the school safety recommendations included in PSEA’s 2018 report “Safe Havens of Learning: PSEA policy recommendations to enhance safety in PA schools.” The recommendations in that report were based on ideas shared by nearly 1,000 PSEA members.

Read the full report at

Askey is a Harrisburg music teacher and the president of PSEA. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents about 181,000 active and retired educators and school employees, student teachers, higher education staff, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.