Jewish school students in Pennsylvania demand increased security

Six months after the shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, hundreds of students gathered at the State Capitol to demand more funding for nonpublic schools.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
May 8, 2019 06:55
1 minute read.
Hillel academy of Pittsburgh

Hillel academy of Pittsburgh. (photo credit: COURTESY OF TEACH PA)

Six months after the shooting at the Tree of Life - Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, hundreds of students gathered on Tuesday to demand more funding to increase security for nonpublic schools and community institutions in Pennsylvania.

The students were part of a delegation to the State Capitol organized by the Orthodox Union’s Teach PA, a division of Teach Coalition founded in 2013 to advocate for equitable government funding for nonpublic schools.

“For the Pennsylvania Jewish community, the massacre which took place at the Tree of Life - Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh was a turning point," Teach PA Executive Director Arielle Frankston-Morris said in a statement. "It was when we realized that our community was a target and therefore, we need to increase security at both our houses of worship and our day schools and yeshivas. Since then, we’ve been working with state legislators to provide the necessary funding for our schools so that our children can go to school feeling safe.”

A bill that aims to guarantee to nonpublic schools the access to the recently created School Safety and Security Grant Program has been referred to the Education Committee. The funding that the bill provides can be used for hiring security personnel and mental health professionals, installing protected doors, windows, alarm systems and other measures to secure school buildings.

The students that gathered at the State Capitol came from 11 different schools.


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