Aug. 09, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Making PA Schools Safer

Recognizing the importance of ensuring our children feel safe at school, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of investing an additional $60 million in the School Safety and Security Block Grant program.

Now in its second year, the program provides flexible funding that schools may use for a variety of security-related initiatives, including hiring school police officers, school resource officers, counselors and/or mental health counselors; alternative education and diversion programs; violence prevention initiatives; school safety and emergency preparedness plans; or physical upgrades to school buildings and equipment to improve safety.

Based on revisions to the grant funding guidelines, each school entity that submits an application for funding to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will receive a base grant of between $30,000 and $45,000, based on the school’s average daily attendance.

As part of the Public School Code bill that accompanied passage of this year’s budget, lawmakers also are requiring each public school district to create at least one multi-disciplinary threat assessment team to identify students in distress before their behavior escalates to a level that raises concern about safety.
 
 
Safe2Say Something Reporting System Gets Results

An anonymous reporting system designed to give students, teachers, parents and community members the ability to anonymously report potential threats and other problems has collected nearly 23,500 tips in its first six months of operation, according to a report from the Office of Attorney General.

The Safe2Say Something program, created by a 2018 law, launched in mid-January to give students a way to share information without fear of repercussions or blame from their peers.

Among the most common issues reported included bullying/cyber bullying; cutting/self-harm; suicide/suicide ideation; depression/anxiety; and drug use/distribution/possession.

To report a possible dangerous or violent situation, individuals can call the state tip line at 844-723-2729. Tips can also be reported to www.safe2saypa.org or through the Safe2Say app on iPhone and Android devices.
 
 
Slow Down for School Buses, Pedestrians

In the next few weeks, students will head back to class. Motorists, parents and children are encouraged to refresh their memories about how to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles.

Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.

Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.

Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus.

Click here for more information and tips on school bus safety.
 
 
Get the Facts About Concussions

With many student athletes gearing up for fall sports practice, students, parents and coaches are reminded about ways to prevent, recognize and manage concussions.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Concussions can have serious short-term and long-term impacts, especially on young people whose brains are still developing.

To protect students, the 2011 Safety in Youth Sports Act was passed to require all school entities to develop return-to-play policies for student athletes with concussions, as well as to require related training for coaches.

Visit the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov and search for “Traumatic Brain Injury” for approved curricula for coaches and other school personnel, along with frequently asked questions about the law and many other state-related resources.

Most importantly, if you think your child has a concussion, seek medical attention, discuss the injury with the coach and don’t allow the athlete to return to play without permission from a health care professional.
 
 
Join Me at the Perry County Fair

I’m looking forward to the 2019 Perry County Fair to be held Aug. 13-17. It is a great opportunity to celebrate our region’s agriculture and spend time with neighbors.

Be sure to say “hello” if you see me at the fair. My office will have a booth with information about state programs and initiatives.

Additionally, Sen. John DiSanto and I will host a free shredding event from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at the fair. Bring sensitive documents like bank statements to be safely shredded. It is an important step to protect yourself from identity theft.
 
 
Learn More about Chronic Wasting Disease

The Pennsylvania Game Commission will present information about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the deer population during a meeting Saturday, Sept. 14. This session will be from 9 a.m. to noon at West Perry High School, 2608 Shermans Valley Road, Elliottsburg.

Sen. John DiSanto and I are hosting this free event for you to learn more about CWD and what we can do to control it.
 
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Perry County Office, 18 West Main Street, PO Box 9. New Bloomfield PA 17068 | Tel: 717-582-8119
Cumberland County Office, 81 Walnut Bottom Road, P.O. Box 705, Shippensburg, PA 17257 | Tel: 717-477-0905
Room 105 , Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202086. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2086 | Tel: 717-783-1593
Email: mkeller@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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