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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 3, 2018 02:56 PM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey and Rep. Donna Bullock
To: All House members
Subject: Safe Schools Partnership Act
Colleagues, please join me in sponsoring “The Safer Schools Partnership Act,” legislation that creates the Safer Schools Partnership, within the Office of the Attorney General, which will be dedicated to developing solutions designed to make our schools safer; primarily through the mitigation of bullying and other criminal behaviors in schools.

In addition to the Attorney General, the partnership will consist of the Secretary of Education, a representative of the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. The Secretaries of the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services and the Directors of Homeland Security and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency would serve as ex officio members of the Partnership. Other members of the Partnership would include representatives from law enforcement, professional statewide education associations and community-based organizations concerned with child welfare. Additionally, six students and six parents or guardians of students would serve on the Partnership.

As provided in my legislative proposal, the Partnership would be responsible for developing a model bully identification, prevention, and intervention plan for use by schools. The model plan would include, among other things, statements prohibiting bullying and retaliation in schools; provisions for the prompt reporting, including anonymous reporting, and investigation of claims of bullying and retaliation, including cyber bullying; procedures governing parental notification and professional development of school employees; and strategies for protecting a student who reports bullying or retaliation, who provides information during an investigation of bullying or retaliation or who witness or who has reliable information about an act of bullying or retaliation. Furthermore, the model plan must include clear and concise procedures for reporting acts of bullying or retaliation to law enforcement and to providers of social media platforms, and the circumstances under which a school or law enforcement could request a social media provider to deactivate or suspend a perpetrator’s social media account.

Other provisions of the proposal would require schools to establish age-appropriate instruction in bullying identification, prevention and intervention to students in kindergarten to twelfth grade, require schools to collect and report bullying incident data to the Department of Education; and direct the Department of Education to develop a student survey to assess school climate and the prevalence, nature, and severity of bullying and other criminal behaviors in schools across the Commonwealth.

I thank you in advance for joining me as a sponsor of the Safer Schools Partnership Act. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Introduced as HB2461