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Keeping kids safe in school top priority for state and federal leaders

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Leaders from law enforcement, schools and state and federal government were at the Capitol Friday to talk about ways to keep kids safe in schools. Congressman Lou Barletta and state Senator Mike Regan both agree the time to act is now on improving school security.

“Why is my life as a member of Congress, why is a federal employee more important than our own children," questions Congressman Barletta on why steps have been taken to make sure his life and his colleagues lives in Washing D.C. are protected from attacks. He says besides the security in place in the nation's Capitol, immediately following the attack on the Republican baseball team, money was found to add increased security.

“I’m not finding fault with that but I am finding fault with the fact that our children and our teachers have become targets in this country," said Congressman Barletta. "And while we talk about it in Washington they are sitting ducks today.”

In an effort to act now, Congressman Barletta introduced 'Protecting Our Kids' Act requiring the Departments of Education and Homeland Security to develop guidelines for school security, the same way it's done for federal buildings.

“We need to treat our schools like critical infrastructure," said Congressman Barletta. "The best way to keep our kids safe is to not let people in, the same way we do for ourselves.”

With a number of bills being introduced on the state and federal levels to increase school security, Senator Regan says it is important to not put the burden of securing a school on its teachers.

“So I think it’s important we use experts to take it off them, introduce legislation that takes that burden off them so that we know the kids in schools will be protected," said Sen. Regan. "And they can go about the business of nurturing, mentoring and educating our children.”