As you may be aware Act 18 of 2019 amended the Public School Code of 1949 by adding Article XIII-E, Threat Assessment which shall apply beginning the 2021-2022 school year.
Among its provisions, Article XIII-E requires the establishment of at least one threat assessment team for each school entity in Pennsylvania. The threat assessment team is tasked with the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior may indicate a threat to the safety of the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community or others. The School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC), established by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, is required to research, develop and provide free threat assessment guidelines, training and informational materials, as well as model procedures and guidelines for school entities.
The reporting requirements and procedures under the Act 18 of 2019 should be implemented consistent with applicable Federal laws, including Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as well as Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law. Notably, certain reports and information generated pursuant to the terms of the Threat Assessment provisions are not subject to the Right-to-Know Law. Should you have any questions regarding your school’s obligations under the new Threat Assessment provisions or the available training through SSSC for your school personnel please do not hesitate to reach out to our office for assistance.