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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 13, 2012 02:27 PM
From: Representative Dan Truitt
To: All House members
Subject: Pennsylvania Safe Schools (PASS) Act (Previous HB 2636)
 
You’ve undoubtedly seen the green signs around the Capitol and may have met with some of the supporting students. Now is your chance to support the Pennsylvania Safe Schools (PASS) Act!

In the very near future, I will re-introduce House Bill 2636 from the 2011-12 Session. The PASS Act is designed to enhance the ways that our school districts prevent and respond to bullying in our schools. A draft of the legislation from last Session is attached.

Children who are the victims of bullying in our schools are often deprived of the opportunity to enjoy education and learning. We owe it to them to be more organized and vigilant in our efforts to provide them with a positive and safe learning environment. The PASS Act can help make that a reality.

My legislation has been developed with the help of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) and with input from representatives of my home school district. At its core, the bill requires school districts to develop a more comprehensive policy to define bullying, establish procedures for responding to it, establish procedures for reporting it, and train school district employees. However, to minimize the burden on school districts, the legislation also requires the Department of Education (PDE) to develop a model policy and corresponding on-line training program that school districts can adopt if they prefer not to develop their own policy and training program. The legislation also requires PDE to create an on-line “Safe Schools Portal” that school district personnel can use to enter and track incidents of bullying AND acts of violence that the districts are already required to report to PDE. This system, in turn, would automatically generate periodic reports and e-mail them to principals, superintendents, PDE officials, and legislators on a specified schedule.

School districts are already required to submit annual safe schools reports that take a great deal of time to produce. This legislation will automate that process so that more data can be reported with considerably less effort by school administrators. This will enable administrators to focus more of their time on preventing bullying in our schools and providing our students with a positive and safe learning environment.

A copy of last Session’s bill is attached. There will be minor technical changes not related to the substance of the bill.

Previous co-sponsors include: TRUITT, COX, CREIGHTON, DALEY, DAVIS, FLECK, HESS, HORNAMAN, KNOWLES, McGEEHAN, ROCK, SAYLOR, SIMMONS, ROSS, DONATUCCI, MOUL, BENNINGHOFF, BEAR, BOBACK, CLYMER, QUINN, WATSON, R. BROWN, GINGRICH, MULLERY, TOOHIL, HARHART, MILLER, CARROLL, HARRIS and HELM

View Attachment


Introduced as HB156