About Us - History of the Office
The Office of Safe Schools Advocate (OSSA) was the first and only one of its kind when it was created by the state legislature in 2000. While formerly located under the Pennsylvania Department of Education, OSSA is now supported by the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency(PCCD), the state’s criminal and juvenile justice planning agency. More specifically and relevant to OSSA’s mission, PCCD provides expertise and assistance on effective prevention and intervention programs targeted for at-risk youth in schools and communities.
In addition to providing information and helping school violence victims understand their rights and options, OSSA is responsible for ensuring the school district’s compliance to all laws, regulations and reporting requirements pertaining to school safety and dicipline.
Despite the 2001 law requiring the state to establish the office, funding for OSSA disappeared under the Rendell Administration in 2009. However, the increasing wave of school bullying and violence prompted the architects of the 2001 law -- state Reps. John Taylor (R-177) and William Keller (D-184) – to urge that funding be restored to the office.
In May 2011, the legislature approved funding for the OSSA to be reinstated. In December 2011, Governor Corbett appointed Kelley Hodge, Esq. as the advocate.