|Posted:||January 26, 2015 03:40 PM|
|From:||Representative Dan Truitt|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Pennsylvania Safe Schools (PASS) Act (HB-156)|
|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 (once again) support the Pennsylvania Safe Schools (PASS) Act! In the very near future, I will re-introduce House Bill 156 from the 2013-14 Session. We had 107 co-sponsors last session, but, no action was taken by the House Education Committee.
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.
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. This will reduce the administrative burden of “safe schools” reports that are already required by law, enabling 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 this session’s language is attached. Minor changes are being made to clarify that bullying is a persistent behavior directed towards a specific student or students and to ensure that any student-identifiable data in the “Safe Schools Portal” is only accessible to the folks who need it and is purged as soon as it is no longer needed.
I hope that you will join me in supporting this important legislation.
Previous co-sponsors include:
TRUITT, FRANKEL, SIMMONS, KNOWLES, DUNBAR, MALONEY, QUINN, GINGRICH, MCGEEHAN, HAGGERTY, V. BROWN, STEPHENS, CONKLIN, C. HARRIS, CARROLL, FLECK, HESS, DAVIDSON, PASHINSKI, KAUFFMAN, HARHART, HAHN, BARRAR, SWANGER, MAJOR, MARSICO, SAYLOR, WATSON, O'NEILL, DAVIS, HELM, CORBIN, ROEBUCK, ROCK, READSHAW, SCAVELLO, ROSS, R. BROWN, THOMAS, GIBBONS, BOBACK, ROZZI, FREEMAN, MACKENZIE, MILLER, SONNEY, DONATUCCI, MOUL, BENNINGHOFF, MURT, GABLER, GOODMAN, MOLCHANY, SIMS, J. HARRIS, MATZIE, PARKER, BRIGGS, STURLA, KORTZ, PAINTER AND SCHLOSSBERG
Introduced as HB156