|Posted:||January 8, 2019 02:35 PM|
|From:||Representative Brian Kirkland|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Youth Violence as a Public Health Epidemic|
|The physical and mental scars associated with violence, especially violence experienced or perpetrated by youths, can affect a person’s well-being for years. Although it has decreased in recent years, youth violence can continue to impact our most vulnerable populations for decades, influencing their future choices, experiences, and contributions to society.
Each year, youth homicides and nonfatal physical assault-related injuries result in more than $21 billion in combined medical and lost productivity costs. My legislation would identify youth violence as a continuing problem in our communities, and would also seek to encourage the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to establish a statewide trauma-informed educational system. As a result of this previously passed resolution, officials from PDE joined fourteen other states in attending the White House Summit on Trauma-Informed Approaches in Schools on September 19, 2016. Since that time, PDE has endeavored to provide Pennsylvania-based educators with critically important trauma information and related resources on its publicly accessible website.
Although it is clear that Pennsylvania has made some measurable strides in addressing the issues of youth violence and the lack of an existing statewide trauma-informed educational framework, we must continue to be vigilant and look out for the well-being of our constituents by passing legislation that aims to end this terrible epidemic once and for all. Thank you for joining me in recognizing the continuing effects of youth violence on our Commonwealth and our constituents
Introduced as HR115