The accuracy of sex assault reports at Penn State University in State College has the U.S. Department of Education taking a closer look at the reports. The Department notified the university by letter last Thursday of an investigation that it will conduct. A report shows that reported forcible sex offenses increased during the time when the Jerry Sandusky scandal was unfolding in 2011. However, a University report documented 56 forcible sex assaults on campus in 2012, twice the 2011 numbers. The investigation will try to determine if some reports were not accurately reported in an effort to keep the numbers low. The Clery Act, a 1990 law, named after 19-year-old Jeanne Cleary, who was raped and murdered in her campus hall at Lehigh university in 1986, requires colleges and universities to report campus crimes to the Federal Government.
Montgomery County has a unique strategy to ensure safety at schools, daycares, and District Justice Offices. Tom Sullivan is the Director of Public Safety for Montgomery County. Sullivan says, C.L.A.S.S or The Countywide Law Enforcement Alerting and Safety System allows administrators to take quick action in contacting police.
“Any school administrator can discreetly push a button to notify police. It comes up on a computer inside their police cars, allowing for immediate response.”
C.L.A.S.S has been installed at 500 schools in Montgomery County. The system was developed in the wake of the Amish school shootings. Sullivan was a recent guest on the WNPV program, Security Advisors On Radio with Dave Gordon and Mike Dayoc.
State Rep. Paul Clymer says, a bill that will give taxpayers more information about their school districts is one step away from becoming law, after being passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Clymer says, a bill known as SchoolWATCH will bring more transparency to the finances of school districts.
“This will allow taxpayers to see what school districts are spending on a variety of things, including salaries and other expenditures.”
The schoolWATCH bill now heads to the State Senate for consideration. If the measure is adopted, school districts would be required to provide information concerning finances on their district websites.
Bucks County State Rep. Paul Clymer wants to give public school administrators autonomy when laying off teachers.
“When a school district has to furlough school teachers, under the present guidelines, it’s the last in the first out.”
Clymer is the Chair of The State House of Education Committee and he wants administrators to decide which teachers to layoff, based on merit not seniority. The Education Committee is expected to hold hearing on a proposed bill.