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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: July 27, 2017 04:37 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Including Mental Health, Physical Disabilities, and Developmental Disabilities Education in Health Classes
In the near future, we will introduce legislation that amends the Public School Code to add curriculum requirements for Health classes across Pennsylvania to educate students in an age-appropriate manner about mental health, physical disabilities, and developmental disabilities.

Thanks to inclusion efforts, most of our students with a disability or a mental health diagnosis are now being educated in their home school districts alongside their typical peers. Overall this change has been tremendous, improving outcomes and increasing opportunities for many. Such success has set the table for advancing inclusive workplaces.

However, as more and more kids with such exceptionalities are educated in an inclusive environment, this sometimes leads to deeper social isolation and stigma problems borne more out of ignorance than intent. Many school districts have struggled to address the information gap regarding mental health and disabilities without invading an individual’s privacy.

Our bill seeks to address that by requiring the Department of Education to create curriculum for our Health classes that will provide a framework for positive discussion and increased understanding. Our hope is that by guiding this discussion in a positive way, we will help decrease stigma and support a true inclusion experience where more and more students know someone with a diagnosis, can support each other, and no one sits alone.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB1701