HARRISBURG – Four school superintendents from the 35th Senatorial District testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Wednesday in Harrisburg, focusing their remarks on mental health services and school safety, according to Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35).
The superintendents included:
- Edwin Bowser, superintendent, Forest Hills School District
- Mark Kudlawiec, superintendent, Chestnut Ridge School District
- David Lehman, superintendent, Conemaugh Valley School District
- John W. Zesiger, superintendent, Moshannon Valley School District
Langerholc said the hearing was held to discuss a wide range of issues related to mental health, including his legislation to increase the ability of school districts to hire professionals to focus on the mental health needs of their students.
The educators offered their perspectives on several issues, including their need of assistance in handling the psychological needs of students.
They stressed that there must be a concerted effort by legislators, elected officials, school districts and mental health professionals to provide services to children in need.
Among the growing problems they identified in schools are fighting, bullying and drug use, all of which contribute to greater threats of school violence.
“I appreciate hearing from our school officials about the challenges they face dealing with students’ mental health needs,” Langerholc said.
“Their testimony illustrates the dire need for mental health programs and services within our schools and the funding to support them.”
To view the full testimony of the superintendents, click here.