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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 11, 2017 10:00 AM
From: Senator Art Haywood
To: All Senate members
Subject: It's On Us - Anti-Violence/Anti-Bullying Policies in Schools
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that addresses the problem of bullying in our school systems.

This bill, part of the bipartisan, bicameral "It's On Us" package, will provide much-needed resources and support to school districts and colleges while working to ensure that Pennsylvania's schools are free from violence of all kinds, including bullying, harassment, and dating violence. Particularly, this legislation deals with violence in a school setting, and provides clear definitions of each aspect of school violence.

Bullying has a devastating effect on our young people. Around 80% of young people who commit suicide do so under pressure of peer victimization and bullying, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics Network. With increased use of the digital landscape, and 52% of young people reported experiencing cyberbullying, the need for language that reflects these threats is intensifying.

This bill will establish procedures for school entities to keep records of reports and investigations of violence. Additionally, reports made by students will be confidential and investigated promptly. School entities will provide professional development and education on issues related to violence and promote compliance with all applicable federal and state requirements around the prevention of sexual violence. To increase transparency, schools will be required to report the number of alleged acts of violence to the Department of Education.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to ensure that all minors in Pennsylvania are protected from the harmful effects of violence in schools.

Introduced as SB872