Gov. Brown, School Safety Task Force voice support for bill aimed to prevent school violence

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) – Governor Kate Brown and the School Safety Task Force announced their support for a school safety bill Tuesday morning.

The Oregon Safe to Learn Act would establish a statewide system aimed at preventing violence in schools. The bill comes in response to a number of school shooting, including several in Oregon.

Members of the task force, including law enforcement officials and local students, say the bill would address important issues like bullying and harassment in schools.

“We’re on track to no longer punish students for behavior due to their bullying, but to reach out with a helping hand to let them know that they are not alone,” Derek Evans, a senior at Sandy High School, said. “We’re on track to let these students know that no matter where they are or who they are, they always have someone that cares, whether it be a trusted teacher or a volunteer on the crisis help line.”

The Oregon State Legislature established the School Safety Task Force in 2014 and launched their crisis tip line in 2017. There are now more than 1,100 schools on board and they’ve gotten more than 2,000 tips over the last two years.

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