PRINTER'S NO. 1359
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
938
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY SCHWANK, BOSCOLA, COLLETT, FONTANA, LEACH,
FARNESE, SANTARSIERO, BREWSTER, LANGERHOLC, MUTH, KILLION,
COSTA, BLAKE, HUGHES, YUDICHAK, HAYWOOD, TARTAGLIONE AND
BROWNE, OCTOBER 31, 2019
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, OCTOBER 31, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in terms and courses of study,
further providing for dating violence education; and, in
sexual violence education at institutions of higher
education, further providing for definitions and for
education program.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1553 of the act of March 10, 1949
(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, is
amended to read:
Section 1553. Dating Violence Education.--(a) The
department, through its Office for Safe Schools, and in
consultation with the State Board of Education, shall:
(1) Develop, within six (6) months of the effective date of
this section, a model dating violence policy to assist [school
districts] school entities in developing policies for dating
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violence reporting and response.
(2) Consult with at least one (1) domestic violence center
and at least one (1) rape crisis center in developing the model
dating violence policy.
(3) Pursuant to section 1302-A(c)(3), provide grants to
school entities for purposes of implementing the provisions of
this section, including for costs associated with training under
subsection (c) and curriculum changes under subsection (d).
(b) (1) Each school [district may] entity shall establish a
specific policy to address incidents of dating violence
involving students, including incidents that occur at school.
(2) The policy [may] shall include, but need not be limited
to: a statement that dating violence will not be tolerated;
dating violence reporting procedures for students, parents,
guardians or third parties; discipline procedures and penalties
for students that commit dating violence against other students,
including dating violence incidents that occur at school;
information related to obtaining a protection from abuse order
against a dating partner pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating
to protection from abuse); and contact information for and
resources available through domestic violence programs and rape
crisis programs.
(3) A school [district that establishes the policy] entity
shall:
(i) Publish the dating violence policy in any [school
district] policy or handbook that specifies the comprehensive
rules, procedures and standards of conduct for students [at
school] attending the school.
(ii) Make the dating violence policy available on its
publicly available Internet website[.], if available, and post
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the policy in every classroom. Each school entity also shall
post the policy at a prominent location within each school
building where the notices are usually posted. Each school
entity shall ensure that the policy and procedures related to
dating violence incidents are reviewed with students within
ninety (90) days after their adoption and thereafter at least
once each school year.
(iii) Provide students, parents and guardians with a copy of
the dating violence policy.
[(4) The State Board of Education shall conduct a study of
the benefits and detriments of mandatory dating violence
education and shall submit a report of its recommendations to
the chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee of
the Senate and the chairman and minority chairman of the
Education Committee of the House of Representatives within three
(3) years of the effective date of this section.]
(c) (1) [A school district may] Each school entity shall
provide dating violence training to teachers, coaches, guidance
counselors, nurses and mental health staff at the middle school
and high school level. [Upon the recommendation of the district
superintendent, other staff may be included or may attend the
training on a voluntary basis.] The superintendent of a school
district, or the equivalent position within a school entity that
is not a school district, may require any other individual who
is a school entity employe or who provides a program, activity
or service sponsored by the school entity and who has direct
contact with children to attend dating violence training. The
school [district] entity may also provide dating violence
training to parents.
(2) The dating violence training [may] shall include, but
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need not be limited to: basic principles of dating violence;
warning signs of dating violence; the school district's dating
violence policy; appropriate responses to incidents of dating
violence, including incidents of dating violence at school;
communication protocols between school entities where an
incident of dating violence involves students who attend
different schools; information related to procedures through
which a victim may obtain a protection from abuse order pursuant
to 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 ; and services and resources available
through domestic violence programs and rape crisis programs.
(d) (1) A school district [may] shall incorporate dating
violence education that is age appropriate into the annual
health curriculum framework for students in grades [nine (9)]
seven (7) through twelve (12). In developing such a policy, the
school district shall consult with at least one (1) domestic
violence program or rape crisis program that serves the region
where the school district is located.
(2) Dating violence education [may] shall include, but need
not be limited to: defining dating violence and recognizing
dating violence warning signs; characteristics of healthy
relationships; information regarding peer support and the role
friends and peers have in addressing dating violence; and
contact information for and the services and resources available
through domestic violence centers and rape crisis centers,
including detailed information concerning safety planning,
availability and [enforcement of] obtaining and enforcing
protection from abuse orders and the availability of other
services and assistance for students and their families from the
school entity or other sources.
(3) The department, through its Office for Safe Schools, in
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consultation with at least one (1) domestic violence center and
at least one (1) rape crisis center, shall provide school
districts with grade-appropriate educational materials regarding
dating violence and healthy relationships for the purpose of
assisting school districts in preparing an instructional program
on dating violence. The department may use educational materials
that are already publicly available for this purpose.
(4) A parent or legal guardian of a student who is under
eighteen (18) years of age, within a reasonable period of time
after the request is made, shall be permitted to examine the
dating violence education program instructional materials at the
school in which the student is enrolled.
(5) At the request of a parent or guardian, a student shall
be excused from all or parts of the dating violence education
program. The principal shall notify all parents or guardians of
their ability to withdraw their children from instruction in the
program by returning a signed opt-out form.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing
a person from seeking judicial relief from dating violence
pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 or under any other law or as
establishing or modifying any civil liability.
(f) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
"At school." The term shall have the meaning given to school
property as defined in section 1301-A.
"Dating partner." A person, regardless of gender, involved
in an intimate relationship with another person, primarily
characterized by the expectation of affectionate involvement,
whether casual, serious or long term.
"Dating violence." Behavior where one person uses threats
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of, or actually uses, physical, sexual, verbal or emotional
abuse to control the person's dating partner.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Domestic violence center." The term shall have the meaning
given in section 2333 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177,
No.175), known as "The Administrative Code of 1929."
"Domestic violence program." The term shall have the meaning
given in section 2333 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177,
No.175), known as "The Administrative Code of 1929."
"Rape crisis center." The term shall have the meaning given
in section 2333 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175),
known as "The Administrative Code of 1929."
"Rape crisis program." The term shall have the meaning given
in section 2333 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175),
known as "The Administrative Code of 1929."
"School entity." As defined in section 1301-A. The term
shall also include a cyber charter school.
Section 2. The definition of "sexual violence" in section
2002-G of the act is amended to read:
Section 2002-G. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Sexual violence." [An act of sexual violence as defined in
42 Pa.C.S. § 6402 (relating to definitions).] Conduct
constituting a crime under any of the following provisions:
18 Pa.C.S. § 2709.1 (relating to stalking) .
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 (relating to sexual offenses), except 18
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Pa.C.S. §§ 3129 (relating to sexual intercourse with animal) and
3130 (relating to conduct relating to sex offenders).
18 Pa.C.S. § 4302 (relating to incest).
* * *
Section 3. Section 2003-G(a) of the act is amended to read:
Section 2003-G. Education program.
(a) General rule.--Institutions of higher education and
private licensed schools shall establish a sexual violence
awareness educational program. Institutions of higher education
and private licensed schools may collaborate with a Statewide
nonprofit organization, local rape crisis center or local sexual
assault program that arranges for the provision of services to
sexual violence and rape victims in the development of a sexual
violence awareness education program. Each education program
shall provide the following:
(1) A discussion of sexual violence.
(2) A discussion of consent, including an explanation
that the victim is not at fault.
(3) A discussion of drug and alcohol-facilitated sexual
violence.
(4) Information relating to risk education and personal
protection.
(5) Information on where and how to get assistance,
including the importance of medical treatment and evidence
collection, [and] how to report sexual violence to campus
authorities and local law enforcement[.] and how to obtain a
protection from abuse order pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 62A
(relating to protection of victims of sexual violence or
intimidation ) .
(6) The possibility of pregnancy and transmission of
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sexual diseases.
(7) Introduction of members of the educational community
from:
(i) Campus police or security and local law
enforcement.
(ii) Campus health center, women's center and rape
crisis center.
(iii) Campus counseling service or any service
responsible for psychological counseling and student
affairs.
(8) A promise of discretion and dignity.
(9) A promise of confidentiality for victims of sexual
assault.
* * *
Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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