Senate Approves Coleman Bill to Notify Parents When Weapons Are Found at Schools

HARRISBURG – The state Senate today approved a bill introduced by Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16) that would ensure parents are notified when a weapon is discovered at a school or school-sponsored event their child attends.

“Parents are concerned about violence at schools and they deserve access to this important information,” said Coleman, who introduced the bill as the result of an incident in Parkland School District. “My proposal would ensure parents have timely and accurate information about weapons-related events at their children’s schools and school activities.”

Coleman worked with Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-2) to introduce Senate Bill 971, which would require schools and school entities to notify parents and guardians within 24 hours about an incident involving the possession of a weapon on school property.

The bill allows for targeted notifications. For example, if a weapon is found at a school dance or on the bus of a sports team, the alert may be sent to parents and guardians of students at the dance or on the team. The notification may be limited to parents and guardians of those students associated with the school building, school-sponsored activity or transportation where the incident with the weapon occurred.

Coleman’s bill also would require the school to notify teachers, administrators and employees who work at or are associated with the school building, activity or travel where the weapon-related incident took place.

“Teachers, administrators and other school employees also deserve to know when a weapon is discovered where they work,” Coleman said. “My plan would create a climate of openness and transparency through the free flow of information to enhance trust with parents, teachers and school workers.”

The bill would prohibit the notification to parents, guardians and school employees from containing personally identifiable information about the student who brought the weapon. The prohibition includes a commonsense exception for notification of the parents or guardians of the student found in possession of the weapon.

Coleman’s bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“I urge my colleagues in the state House to approve my bill and send it to the governor so we can give access to this important information to parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and school employees,” Coleman said.

Residents who want to learn more about Coleman can visit his website at, follow him on Facebook at and sign up for email newsletters at


CONTACT: Leo Knepper

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