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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2021 10:43 AM
From: Representative Joanna E. McClinton
To: All House members
Subject: Conflict Resolution in Schools
We see it all too often on the nightly news – another young person lost to senseless violence in our state. This is not confined to one area of Pennsylvania and is a growing problem in many communities, including my legislative district.
No one should have to worry about losing their son, daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild when they go outside to play or when they are walking home. It truly is every family’s worst nightmare, and it happens far too often in our society. Reducing violence, particularly gun violence, should be a multi-pronged effort and will be achieved through a collaborative effort from all of us including law enforcement, elected officials, community leaders and neighbors — including our young people. We may disagree on many policy areas, but we all want our children to be safe at school and when they are out in public areas.  
In this vein, my legislation will require public schools to provide instruction on conflict resolution to all students. This instruction will include topics such as skills of conflict resolution, respect for different cultures, races, and beliefs, effectively managing emotions, and how to resolve differences peacefully. This instruction shall be age appropriate and be incorporated into an appropriate area of study. The Department of Education will compose a list of evidence-based model programs schools can use to provide this instruction to students.
We need everyone working together to confront the growing problem of violence, specifically gun-related violence, in our communities. By providing young people with the tools necessary to deal with conflict and resolve differences appropriately, hopefully we can help stem the tide of violence in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HB847