Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ohio Senate President Faber Announces Joint Committee on School Safety

(Columbus) - Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) today announced the establishment of a joint committee to address school safety and the prevention of violent acts in public spaces.

The bipartisan Committee on Safe and Secure Schools will include members of the Senate Public Safety and Education committees and will be co-chaired by Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley Twp) and Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering).

“Our only agenda is to make sure our children are as safe as they can be and that we deter those who have violent intentions,” said President Faber. “This committee will engage safety experts and the public in a thoughtful discussion to find reasonable solutions to the problem of violence in public spaces.”

The recent mass violence incidents in places such as Chardon, Ohio, Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado have heightened awareness of the need to protect our communities and recognize the warning signs of potential danger. The committee will take a broad approach and discuss issues including mental health standards, successful programs on bullying, and safety plans for first responders.

“This committee will have two priorities – protection and prevention,” said Senator LaRose. “We want to make schools a safe place to learn and ensure professionals have the tools they need to identify those likely to commit offenses.”

Senator Lehner says mental health will be a major focus of the committee. “We hope to better identify the potential for this type of violent act and get help for those at risk,” said Lehner. “This is a very challenging and complicated issue, but there is a very strong will within the Senate to tackle the problem.”

The Committee will announce meeting dates within the next few days, as well as opportunities for the general public to provide feedback and ideas to the committee.