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02/19/2020 06:15 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=26546
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 3, 2018 09:53 AM
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 re-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 inclusive environments, this sometimes leads to deeper social isolation and problems with stigma that are born 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 truly inclusive experience, where more and more students know someone with a diagnosis and can support each other better, and where no one sits alone.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

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Introduced as HB590