School Security Guards
A school entity or nonpublic school may employ or contract with an independent contractor or third-party vendor for an armed school security guard if all the following additional conditions are met:
- The school security guard is licensed under 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 Subch. A (relating to Uniform Firearms Act), *with certain exceptions defined below;
- The school security guard has successfully completed and is currently certified under Act 235 of 1974, known as the Lethal Weapons Training Act, *with certain exceptions defined below; and
- The school security guard has satisfied the background check requirements under Sections 111 and 111.1 of the Public School Code and 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344 (relating to employees having contact with children; adoptive and foster parents).
*Active law enforcement officers are exempt from the training requirements for school security guards under (1) and (2) above upon presentation of evidence to the school entity or nonpublic school of their completion of the training requirements under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 21 Subch. D (relating to municipal police education and training).
*Retired law enforcement officers are exempt from the training requirements for school security guards under (1) and (2) above if the retired officer: (a) complies with Section 8.1 of Act 235 of 1974 (Lethal Weapons Training Act); or (b) has been issued a firearm training and qualification card under Section 5 of Act 79 of 2005 (Retired Law Enforcement Identification Act).
All school security guards –armed or unarmed – must successfully complete the Basic School Resource Officer Course of Instruction offered by NASRO or an equivalent course of instruction approved by PCCD.
Unarmed school security guards who were employed or contracted by a school entity or nonpublic school prior to September 2, 2019 have until the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year to complete this instruction.
Armed school security guards who are employed or contracted by a school entity or nonpublic school before September 2, 2019 have until February 28, 2020 to complete the required training unless an extension is approved by the governing body of a school entity or a nonpublic school due to a hardship in complying with the deadline. To approve an extension:
- The governing body must determine that complying with the instruction deadline would present a hardship for the school entity or nonpublic school.
- The governing body of a school entity which is subject to 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings) may discuss the issue of a hardship extension in executive session, but that approval of the hardship extension must occur at a public meeting.
- The school entity or nonpublic school shall submit the approved hardship extension to PDE's Office of Safe Schools not later than 15 days from the date of approval. Any documentation submitted under this clause is not subject to the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.
A hardship may exist where timely completion of training is not possible because:
- It would require absence of school security guards while school is in session, and result in increased risk to students, staff or visitors.
- Deployment or active military service, illness, family emergency, death in the immediate family or other approved leave of absence would prevent school security guards from complying with the instruction deadline.
If such an extension is approved, the school entity or non-public school may extend the deadline to complete the instruction to no later than the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.