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Gov. Tom Wolf announces new school safety task force

Jamie Martines
| Thursday, March 15, 2018 1:09 p.m
GTRwalkoutWPA208031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sophmore Isabella Tuttoilmondo (center) signs a pledge sign reading 'Enough is Enough' as students gather in the gym at Hempfield Area High School to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students across the country staged demonstrations against gun violence on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
gtrwalkoutWPA401031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley HIgh School senior Olivia McMullen wipes tears from her eyes as she listens to classmates read the names of the 17 people who died during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutWPA406031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
The names of the victims killed in a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., are written in chalk on the sidewalk in front of Quaker Valley High School on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutWPA404031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School seniors Molly Henschke (left) and Tessa Kimmy write in chalk the names of the victims killed during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutWPA403031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School senior Annika Christensen writes in chalk the name of one of the victims who was killed during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutWPA402031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School freshman Kat Coates hugs junior Matilda Gould as she cries on March 14, 2018, while they listen to classmates read the names of the 17 people who died during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutWPA405031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School senior Franzi Nace writes in chalk the name of one of the victims who was killed during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students participated in a nationwide school walkout on March 14 to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools. (Trib photo)
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315186
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School student Kaylea Farino stands during a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018. Students wrote messages on masking tape about why they wanted to participate in the demonstration and placed it over their mouths. The tape on Farino's face reads: 'Pray for the victims, mental health awareness.'
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315182
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Students stand in the atrium of Southmoreland High School for a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018, to raise awareness about issues related to school safety and to honor the victims of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took place one month ago.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315185
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School students gather in the school's atrium just before 10 a.m. to prepare for a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018.
vndwalkoutWPA302031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Highlands students gather in the commons area as choir director Michael Zeiler leads the choir in song during the ENOUGH National School Walkout at Highlands High School on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
PTRwalkout05031518
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Students walk out of school to protest gun violence at Woodland Hills High School on March 14, 2018.
vndwalkoutWPA301031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Students gather in the commons area at Highlands High School as choir director Michael Zeiler leads the choir during a school walkout protesting gun violence on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
PTRwalkout02031518
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Students walk out of school to protest gun violence at Woodland Hills High School on March 14, 2018.
gtrWalkoutWPA2031518
Stephen Huba | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Salem High School seniors Dante Howard and Jordan Mitchell hold a banner, signed by hundreds of students on March 14, 2018, that will be sent to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
PTRwalkout01031518
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Students walk out of school to protest gun violence at Woodland Hills High School on March 14, 2018.
PTRwalkoutWPA501031518
Ben Schmitt | Tribune-Review
Students at Woodland Hills High School walk out of school on March 14, 2018. High school students protested gun violence and showed support for improved school safety during walkouts locally and nationwide.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315187
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School students write messages on pieces of masking tape about why the want to participate in the national school walkout on March 14, 2018. They then placed the tape over their mouths and stood in silence for 17 minutes.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315183
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Students stand in the atrium of Southmoreland High School for a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018, to raise awareness about issues related to school safety and to honor the victims of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took place one month ago. Following 17 minutes of silence, students removed the tape and placed it on a banner in the school lobby.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315181
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Students at Southmoreland High School wrote messages on pieces of tape about why they wanted to participate in the national walkout on March 14, 2018. At the end of the 17-minute silent protest, the students removed the tape from their mouths and placed it on a banner in the school atrium.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315184
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School student Jazmine Frost places a piece of masking tape on a banner hanging in the school lobby on March 14, 2018. The banner reads, 'Walk out for a reason.'
GTRwalkoutWPA201031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Cameraon Gallentine speaks during a rally, as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School, in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA202031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Julie Kucherer reads an excerpt from 'Imagine' by John Lennon, as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA203031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Meg Jones reads a statement from a student who attends high school in Broward County Fla., talking about the fear that gripped the students as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA204031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sophomore Allie Miller holds back tears, as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA205031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Meg Jones addresses students as they gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA206031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Junior Olivia Steeley helps ring a bell 17 times over 17 minutes in remembrance as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School, in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA207031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Students gathered in the gym and held hands, as the names of deceased were read, as they protested gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
gtrwalkoutWPA401031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley HIgh School senior Olivia McMullen wipes tears from her eyes as she listens to classmates read the names of the 17 people who died during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
GTRwalkoutWPA208031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sophmore Isabella Tuttoilmondo (center) signs a pledge sign reading 'Enough is Enough' as students gather in the gym at Hempfield Area High School to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students across the country staged demonstrations against gun violence on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
vndwalkoutWPA304031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Roughly a dozen students walked out into the courtyard at Highlands High School during the ENOUGH National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
gtrwalkoutWPA406031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
The names of the victims killed in a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., are written in chalk on the sidewalk in front of Quaker Valley High School on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
vndwalkoutWPA305031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Roughly a dozen students walked out into the courtyard at Highlands High School during the ENOUGH National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
gtrwalkoutWPA404031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School seniors Molly Henschke (left) and Tessa Kimmy write in chalk the names of the victims killed during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutwpa211031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Nick Secosky talks about the need to help lawmakers see that students are paying attention as he joins a large group of students at Mt. Pleasant Area High School in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, who are writing letters to state Sen. Kim Ward asking for help in making schools safer through funding and security initiatives. Students in grades seven through 12 conducted a letter-writing campaign to all of the local state representatives.
gtrwalkoutWPA403031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School senior Annika Christensen writes in chalk the name of one of the victims who was killed during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on March 14, 2018. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutwpa210031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Justin Chovanec joins in with a large group of students at Mt. Pleasant Area High School in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, as they write letters to state Sen. Kim Ward asking for help in making schools safer through funding and security initiatives. Students in grades seven through 12 conducted a letter-writing campaign to all of the local state representatives.
gtrwalkoutWPA402031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School freshman Kat Coates hugs junior Matilda Gould as she cries on March 14, 2018, while they listen to classmates read the names of the 17 people who died during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students, including about 150 of the roughly 630 at Quaker Valley High School, participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools.
gtrwalkoutwpa213031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior A.J. Lazar taunts students with a sign that ends with 'So get back to class and sort yourselves out' during a rally in which students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
gtrwalkoutWPA405031518
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley High School senior Franzi Nace writes in chalk the name of one of the victims who was killed during a shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students participated in a nationwide school walkout on March 14 to protest gun violence, show solidarity with survivors and call for bipartisan action to create a safer environment in schools. (Trib photo)
GTRwalkoutWPA209031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Meg Jones hugs a student at the end of the rally as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315186
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School student Kaylea Farino stands during a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018. Students wrote messages on masking tape about why they wanted to participate in the demonstration and placed it over their mouths. The tape on Farino's face reads: 'Pray for the victims, mental health awareness.'
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315182
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Students stand in the atrium of Southmoreland High School for a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018, to raise awareness about issues related to school safety and to honor the victims of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took place one month ago.
gtrwalkoutwpa212031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Eighth-grader Serenity Beyers, who dyed her hair orange, shows what she wrote on her hand at Mt. Pleasant Area High School in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, during a day in which students from across the country walked out of class to protest school violence.
herwalkout1031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel Area High School student Kayla Wise watches during the Nation School Walkout at the football stadium while the names of the 17 shooting victims in Parkland, Florida., were called out.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315185
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School students gather in the school's atrium just before 10 a.m. to prepare for a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018.
herwalkout2031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune Review
Fox Chapel Area High School student Kieran Bartels holds onto a signed poster while the names of the victims from the Parkland, Fla., school shooting were called out during a National Student Walkout demonstration.
vndwalkoutWPA302031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Highlands students gather in the commons area as choir director Michael Zeiler leads the choir in song during the ENOUGH National School Walkout at Highlands High School on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
herwalkout031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune Review
As the seventeen students' names were called that were killed in the school shooting in Florida, the Fox Chapel Area High School students and faculty lay on the ground to honor them during the demonstation on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
PTRwalkout05031518
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Students walk out of school to protest gun violence at Woodland Hills High School on March 14, 2018.
vndwalkoutWPA301031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Students gather in the commons area at Highlands High School as choir director Michael Zeiler leads the choir during a school walkout protesting gun violence on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
herwalkout3031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune Review
Seventeen students and faculty lie on the snowy ground Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at the Fox Chapel Area High School football stadium as the victims' names were called out during a National School Walkout Day demonstration to honor the Florida students and faculty shot and killed on Feb. 14, 2018.
PTRwalkout02031518
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Students walk out of school to protest gun violence at Woodland Hills High School on March 14, 2018.
vndwalkout0315183
Matthew Medsger | Tribune-Review
Choosing to hold a panel discussion instead of walking out of school on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, were (from left) Principal Chad Roland, Grace Fowler, 18, Noah Woodward, 17, Kylie Zaffina, 18, Maggie Mullooly, 18, Sara Lyons, 17, Rebecca Newton, 17, Logan DeAngelis, 16, and Eddie Fuhrer, 14.
gtrWalkoutWPA2031518
Stephen Huba | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Salem High School seniors Dante Howard and Jordan Mitchell hold a banner, signed by hundreds of students on March 14, 2018, that will be sent to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
vndwalkout0315181
Matthew Medsger | Tribune-Review
Principal Chad Roland calls the auditorium to attention during Kiski Area High School's version of the national student walkout. Students at Kiski decided that holding a meeting focused on conversation was more constructive than just walking out of classes on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
PTRwalkout01031518
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Students walk out of school to protest gun violence at Woodland Hills High School on March 14, 2018.
vndwalkout0315182
Matthew Medsger | Tribune-Review
Rebecca Newton, 17, of Vandergrift, a senior at Kiski Area High School, was one member of a panel of students questioning their school's plan to combat gun violence. Students held an assembly rather than walking out of classes on Wednesday, March 14, 2017.
PTRwalkoutWPA501031518
Ben Schmitt | Tribune-Review
Students at Woodland Hills High School walk out of school on March 14, 2018. High school students protested gun violence and showed support for improved school safety during walkouts locally and nationwide.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315187
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School students write messages on pieces of masking tape about why the want to participate in the national school walkout on March 14, 2018. They then placed the tape over their mouths and stood in silence for 17 minutes.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315183
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Students stand in the atrium of Southmoreland High School for a 17-minute silent protest on March 14, 2018, to raise awareness about issues related to school safety and to honor the victims of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took place one month ago. Following 17 minutes of silence, students removed the tape and placed it on a banner in the school lobby.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315181
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Students at Southmoreland High School wrote messages on pieces of tape about why they wanted to participate in the national walkout on March 14, 2018. At the end of the 17-minute silent protest, the students removed the tape from their mouths and placed it on a banner in the school atrium.
GTRwalkoutWPA5010315184
Jamie Martines|Tribune-Review
Southmoreland High School student Jazmine Frost places a piece of masking tape on a banner hanging in the school lobby on March 14, 2018. The banner reads, 'Walk out for a reason.'
GTRwalkoutWPA201031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Cameraon Gallentine speaks during a rally, as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School, in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA202031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Julie Kucherer reads an excerpt from 'Imagine' by John Lennon, as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA203031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Meg Jones reads a statement from a student who attends high school in Broward County Fla., talking about the fear that gripped the students as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA204031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sophomore Allie Miller holds back tears, as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA205031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Meg Jones addresses students as they gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA206031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Junior Olivia Steeley helps ring a bell 17 times over 17 minutes in remembrance as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School, in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA207031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Students gathered in the gym and held hands, as the names of deceased were read, as they protested gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA208031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sophmore Isabella Tuttoilmondo (center) signs a pledge sign reading 'Enough is Enough' as students gather in the gym at Hempfield Area High School to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students across the country staged demonstrations against gun violence on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
vndwalkoutWPA304031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Roughly a dozen students walked out into the courtyard at Highlands High School during the ENOUGH National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
vndwalkoutWPA305031518
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Roughly a dozen students walked out into the courtyard at Highlands High School during the ENOUGH National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
gtrwalkoutwpa211031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Nick Secosky talks about the need to help lawmakers see that students are paying attention as he joins a large group of students at Mt. Pleasant Area High School in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, who are writing letters to state Sen. Kim Ward asking for help in making schools safer through funding and security initiatives. Students in grades seven through 12 conducted a letter-writing campaign to all of the local state representatives.
ptrwolfredistrictingREDO02020218
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf
gtrwalkoutwpa210031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Justin Chovanec joins in with a large group of students at Mt. Pleasant Area High School in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, as they write letters to state Sen. Kim Ward asking for help in making schools safer through funding and security initiatives. Students in grades seven through 12 conducted a letter-writing campaign to all of the local state representatives.
gtrwalkoutwpa213031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior A.J. Lazar taunts students with a sign that ends with 'So get back to class and sort yourselves out' during a rally in which students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
GTRwalkoutWPA209031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Senior Meg Jones hugs a student at the end of the rally as students gathered in the gym to protest gun violence and to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., at Hempfield Area High School in Hempfield on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
gtrwalkoutwpa212031518
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Eighth-grader Serenity Beyers, who dyed her hair orange, shows what she wrote on her hand at Mt. Pleasant Area High School in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, during a day in which students from across the country walked out of class to protest school violence.
herwalkout1031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel Area High School student Kayla Wise watches during the Nation School Walkout at the football stadium while the names of the 17 shooting victims in Parkland, Florida., were called out.
herwalkout2031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune Review
Fox Chapel Area High School student Kieran Bartels holds onto a signed poster while the names of the victims from the Parkland, Fla., school shooting were called out during a National Student Walkout demonstration.
herwalkout031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune Review
As the seventeen students' names were called that were killed in the school shooting in Florida, the Fox Chapel Area High School students and faculty lay on the ground to honor them during the demonstation on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
herwalkout3031418
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune Review
Seventeen students and faculty lie on the snowy ground Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at the Fox Chapel Area High School football stadium as the victims' names were called out during a National School Walkout Day demonstration to honor the Florida students and faculty shot and killed on Feb. 14, 2018.
vndwalkout0315183
Matthew Medsger | Tribune-Review
Choosing to hold a panel discussion instead of walking out of school on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, were (from left) Principal Chad Roland, Grace Fowler, 18, Noah Woodward, 17, Kylie Zaffina, 18, Maggie Mullooly, 18, Sara Lyons, 17, Rebecca Newton, 17, Logan DeAngelis, 16, and Eddie Fuhrer, 14.
vndwalkout0315181
Matthew Medsger | Tribune-Review
Principal Chad Roland calls the auditorium to attention during Kiski Area High School's version of the national student walkout. Students at Kiski decided that holding a meeting focused on conversation was more constructive than just walking out of classes on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
vndwalkout0315182
Matthew Medsger | Tribune-Review
Rebecca Newton, 17, of Vandergrift, a senior at Kiski Area High School, was one member of a panel of students questioning their school's plan to combat gun violence. Students held an assembly rather than walking out of classes on Wednesday, March 14, 2017.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced the creation of a School Safety Task Force Thursday.

The group will include government officials, education leaders, law enforcement, community members, school officials, teachers, parents and students, according to a statement from Wolfe’s office.

“Ensuring the safety of Pennsylvanians, especially our children, is my top priority as governor,” Wolf said in a statement. “I am creating a school safety task force to ensure we are doing everything we can to make sure that our schools are a safe place for our children to learn.”

The task force will evaluate issues like funding for school safety initiatives, access to physical and mental health support programs, effectiveness of state requirements for training and security, and quality of reporting or anonymous tip tools.

Charles Ramsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; Mark DiRocco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators; Judy Morgitan, immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners; and Bonita Allen, president of the Pennsylvania Parent Teacher Association, will serve as vice-chairs of the task force.

The task force will hold regional meetings in coming weeks, the statement said. The public can submit concerns about school safety to the task force online.

School safety issues have been top of mind for school officials across southwestern Pennsylvania in the weeks following a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead. At least 46 threats have been made against schools, students or teachers across the region in the month after the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting— a spike in the number of such threats that schools and local law enforcement typically field.

Some of the threats were made in writing, while others were verbal or posted on social media. In many cases, classes were canceled and schools were locked down or evacuated. At least 15 juveniles are facing charges in connection with threats made against local schools.

Students across the region showed their concerns about the state of school safety Wednesday by participating in a nationwide demonstration. Some students walked out of class while others held silent protests indoors. Others participated in letter writing campaigns to local lawmakers requesting additional funding and attention for initiatives related to reducing gun violence, expanding access to mental health resources or increasing the number of counselors in schools.

Wolf’s task force announcement also comes days after DePasquale announced that he would step up school safety reviews of Pennsylvania schools.

“In the years since we began to look at school safety as part of our full school audits, we have found that schools are very receptive to our recommendations,” DePasquale said in a statement last week. “In particular, most schools have emergency preparedness plans in place that are constantly being reviewed and shared with first responders. However, we still see areas where improvements are needed in school safety.”

Common audit safety recommendations include improving visitor procedures, staff training, practice drills, entrance and exit security, communication and alarm systems, and buses and parking, the statement said.

After the announcement, DePasquale said school safety objectives would be added to all school audits and reviews. In addition, distribution of confidential school safety audit results will be expanded to include Pennsylvania State Police, the attorney general and local police departments. School superintendents and school safety officers currently receive those reports.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jmartines@tribweb.com, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.