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Franklin Regional Superintendent Working To Standardize School Security Across Pennsylvania

Deanna Garcia
90.5 WESA
Tuesday marks five years since then-16-year-old Alex Hribal stabbed 20 classmates and a security guard in an attack at Franklin Regional High School. The district and its leaders have since become models for security and preparedness.

Franklin Regional School District's Gennaro Piraino says he's using his platform as Pennsylvania's 2019 Superintendent of The Year to elevate discussion about school security in Pennsylvania. Tuesday marks five years since a sophomore student used knives to injure 20 other students and a security guard at Franklin Regional High School. 

Credit Courtesy of Franklin Regional School District
Dr. Gennaro R. Piraino Jr. has served as the superintendent of Franklin Regional School District since the 2013-14 school year. The stabbing attacks occurred April 9 of that academic year.

Piraino, who was appointed to a school safety and security committee commissioned last year by Governor Tom Wolf, says it's critical schools receive an established framework for conducting basic safety and security checks, measuring preparedness and applying for grants that could help offset the cost of relevant help and technology. 

Piraino joins 90.5 WESA’s Maria Scapellato for The Confluence to talk about how to balance those goals while keeping students focused less on inherent dangers and more on their education.

Later in the program:

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UPDATED: 11:02 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2019. 90.5 WESA's Meg Fair, Mick Stinelli and Julia Zenkevich contributed to this program.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago.
Maria Gabriel Scapellato began her radio career at a commercial radio station in Harrisburg in 1985. Later, she moved to WITF 89.5 FM as the local host of All Things Considered, returning to Pittsburgh in 1992, where she has since worked in both radio and television at various Pittsburgh stations as a general assignment reporter. Originally from West Mifflin in the Mon Valley, she studied Journalism at West Virginia University.
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