HARRISBURG – June 21, 2018 – Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) applauded the passage of a new school threat program and safety and community initiatives.
After a signature from Gov. Tom Wolf, the Safe2Say Program will become law and allow anonymous reporting of the threats regarding unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent or criminal activities in schools. Senator Hughes joined with Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) and Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) to sponsor the legislation in the Senate, which was passed by the House Friday.
The school safety and security bill (SB 1142) establishes a $60 million grant program to help prevent, reduce and address school and community violence. Of the money in the fund, $7.5 million will be dedicated to community anti-violence prevention programs.
“We worked together to do something that made sense,” Senator Hughes said. “The byproduct of the bipartisan work is a way to empower students and school staff in protecting themselves. I couldn’t be happier.”
At least five other states have created similar programs. The system in Colorado has received more than 30,000 reports of potentially dangerous situations since 2004.
The Attorney General’s office will administer the system and ensure the information can be sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency and school officials for further investigation.
The program will cover emergency and non-emergency reports. Anyone can utilize the reporting mechanism. Colorado has found that the most common tip involves suicide threats. They also receive tips on bullying, drug use, cutting and depression as well as threats to schools. Senator Hughes noted that the program allows people to get help when it is needed, rather than referred to law enforcement immediately.
CONTACT: Wesley Robinson (Senator Hughes) (717) 787-3497 | firstname.lastname@example.org