PSEA President testifies on school safety initiatives
Testifying on school safety issues before the state Senate Education and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees, PSEA President Mike Crossey said students learn best when they are in safe learning environments, and recommended several policies to achieve this goal for all public school students.
Crossey pointed to school safety initiatives included in Solutions That Work, the organization’s comprehensive blueprint for change in Pennsylvania’s public schools.
“Students, parents, teachers, and administrators have the right to expect their schools to be safe havens for learning,” Crossey said. “The tragedy at Sandy Hook reminds us all that more must be done to keep our schools safe. Now, we need to work together on a multi-pronged, sustainable approach to achieve this goal.”
Crossey outlined a series of school safety recommendations, including:
Establishing a statewide school safety advisory committee to recommend school safety strategies;
Creating and updating model school safety plans for school districts;
Strengthening relationships among public schools, law enforcement, and social service providers;
Increasing access to mental health providers to stop school violence before it occurs;
Expanding alternative education programs for disruptive students; and
Training for students and educators in ways to communicate about bullying, threats, abusive behavior, and gang violence.
“As educators, we are focused on providing a positive learning environment for our children, and we are eager to help identify the strategies and supports students need to achieve that goal,” Crossey said. “We all need to work together to make Pennsylvania’s public schools as safe as they can be.”
Learn more at www.solutionsthatworkpa.org. Find Crossey’s full testimony at www.psea.org/testimony.