UPDATE: SB 383 passed out of the Senate Education Committee and is scheduled for a vote in the full Senate on Tuesday, June 28th.
On Wednesday, April 19th at 9:30 am, the PA Senate Education Committee will meet in Harrisburg. They will not be discussing how to adequately fund our schools so districts throughout PA can avoid making another round of brutal cuts in programs and services for students. They will not be discussing how to ensure all children in PA receive a quality education. They will also not be discussing how to reduce the time spent and emphasis placed on standardized testing.
Instead, some PA senators on the Education Committee will be pushing an agenda that has nothing to do with improving education quality for students. They will be voting on SB 383, a bill permitting school personnel to carry concealed firearms in our children’s public schools.
If you don’t want teachers and staff carrying loaded guns in your community’s public schools, please CLICK HERE to contact your legislators NOW. Tell them to oppose SB 383 and to keep guns out of Pennsylvania’s public schools.
There is NO evidence that arming school personnel increases school safety. In fact, the National School Safety and Security Services advises against arming teachers and school staff and has stated it is, “a high risk to the safety of students, teachers, and other school staff.”
We only need to look to Chambersburg, PA to see how allowing guns in schools can be far more dangerous than the harm this seeks to avoid. On August 25, 2016, a teacher at a private, Christian elementary school left her loaded gun on the back of a toilet in a one-stall restroom that she shared with students. At least four children ages 6 to 8 used that bathroom while her loaded gun was left there, unattended, for 3 hours.
We believe public schools must be safe places for students and want to protect them from danger. We most strongly oppose allowing school personnel to carry firearms.
For more information about this issue, please read the letter The Education Law Center of PA sent to members of the PA Senate Education Committee that details why lawmakers should oppose SB 383.