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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: July 11, 2017 02:40 PM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Dating Violence Education
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to require all public school entities to provide dating violence education to high school students.

Dating violence, and teen dating violence in particular, is an alarming trend that is becoming more widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects for young people. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 10% of high school students surveyed reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to being surveyed. In order to combat this increasing problem, and send a message to students about the importance of developing healthy relationships, over the past several years, at least fifteen states have adopted requirements for age-appropriate instruction in dating violence prevention.

Currently, in Pennsylvania, the Public School Code includes language at Section 1553 that permits school entities to develop a policy with respect to dating violence, provide training to school personnel, and offer instruction to high school students. Given the serious nature of this topic, I believe that all students should have access to this education. Therefore, my legislation will very simply make these existing provisions requirements for all school entities beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

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Introduced as HB1705