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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 24, 2017 03:40 PM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Pennsylvania Safe Schools (PASS) Act
I am planning to introduce prior HB 156 from last session.

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 online 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 online “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 email them to principals, superintendents, PDE officials, and legislators on a specific 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.

I hope that you will join me in supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as HB893