In light of last month‚??s tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, state Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich met with police chiefs from municipalities throughout the 114th Legislative District.
Kavulich, Old Forge Mayor Michelle Avvisato and Police Chiefs Kim Buggey of Old Forge, Joseph Laguzzi of Clarks Summit, Charles Mauer of Moosic, Len Mickavicz of Taylor and Jim Romano of Scott Township discussed safety and security measures currently in place and how to improve upon them.
One topic discussed at the meeting was that safety recommendation assessments done by state police are often unable to be implemented due to a lack of funding.
We live in a world where these issues have to be discussed and acted upon immediately, Kavulich said. We can no longer use funding as an excuse to fail to invest in school security and safety. As we go forward, any discussion on education funding must include funding for school safety.
As a result of the meeting, Kavulich plans to introduce legislation mandating emergency lockdown drills in all Pennsylvania schools.
Since 1959, there has been one death in a Pennsylvania school fire and we still continue to conduct fire drills, Kavulich explained. Lock-down drills are different from fire drills in that one instructs students to leave the school building, while the other secures the students inside the facility. The horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School and other schools in this country involving firearms prove that we‚??ve got to better prepare for such unthinkable incidents.
Kavulich said contingency plans are vital to school safety. His legislation would raise awareness and help to train staff, students and visitors on what to do in the event of an emergency.