HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Auditor General Jack Wagner will address school safety and security at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Hampton High School during the Pittsburgh Safe Schools Conference.
The event is sponsored by InfraGard, a partnership between the FBI and businesses and academic institutions that are committed to sharing information, and will highlight the fact that October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness and Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Wednesday's interactive teleconference will focus on anti-bullying awareness and new developments in cyber security. Participants will include the FBI, WQED multimedia, documentary film producers, and the Department of Homeland Security. The event will be simulcast to locations in Erie, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
During his three decades in public service, Wagner has been a strong advocate for safe schools. "Children are our most precious and vulnerable members of society and all of us must do everything we can to make sure they have a safe and secure learning environment," Wagner said. "Children can't learn if they do not feel safe at school."
In 2007, the Department of the Auditor General studied safety planning and security in Pennsylvania's public schools. As a result of deficiencies found during the survey, Wagner added a building safety and security checklist to his department's public school audits.
In addition, he called on state and local governments and the General Assembly to work together with the Department of Education, the Office of Attorney General, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and public schools to improve school safety and security.
"It is vital for state and local officials to form a partnership with public school entities to provide for the safety and well-being of all Pennsylvania's schoolchildren," Wagner said. He added, "This can only be accomplished by making a bipartisan and concerted effort to help our public schools develop and implement comprehensive and practical safe school plans, including anti-bullying programs."
The Department of the Auditor General audits all Pennsylvania public schools, including charter schools, and conducts performance audits of the Department of Education, with a special focus on safe school initiatives.
Auditor General Jack Wagner is responsible for ensuring that all state money is spent legally and properly. He is the commonwealth's elected independent fiscal watchdog, conducting financial audits, performance audits and special investigations. The Department of the Auditor General conducts thousands of audits each year. To learn more about the Department of the Auditor General, taxpayers are encouraged to visit the department's website at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General