PSEA members propose policy ideas to keep schools safe

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PSEA members propose policy ideas to keep schools safe

During a state House Education Committee meeting, PSEA President Dolores McCracken shared policy suggestions from educators and support professionals aimed at making Pennsylvania’s public schools safe from violence.

PSEA encouraged members to share their policy ideas in the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. McCracken summarized them in her testimony and encouraged lawmakers to take clear and decisive action to keep students and educators safe in their schools. Find a copy of the report at

“No student, educator, or parent should walk through the threshold of their school and have to worry about the threat of violence,” McCracken said in her testimony. “These tragedies aren’t going to stop on their own, nor will the many more instances of violence that don’t make their way to the headlines, unless we act.”

PSEA members offer a wide array of suggestions

McCracken outlined the policy suggestions made by PSEA members, including:

  • investing in school safety grants;
  • providing more support for student wellness and investing in school counselors, psychologists, and social workers;
  • creating crisis and threat assessment teams designed to predict and prevent violence;
  • protecting federal funding; and
  • allowing localized school safety planning.

Addressing the physical safety of school buildings was one of the most common suggestions PSEA members submitted. McCracken called for increased appropriations for school safety grants to provide funding for physical improvements to school buildings, active shooter training programs, and school resource officers.

McCracken also called for policymakers to increase their focus on student mental health and invest in more school counselors, school psychologists, social workers, school nurses, behavioral specialists, home and school visitors, and paraprofessionals.

PSEA members are on the front lines

McCracken said PSEA asked members to share their thoughts about what Pennsylvania should do to make our schools safe because “they are on the front lines, are the first responders, and are those closest to students who may become adrift.”

She said PSEA looks forward to working with Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers “to find ways to ensure that the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida is not repeated, anywhere.”