PRINTER'S NO. 976
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
785
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY SCHWANK, KANE, STREET, HUGHES, FONTANA, SAVAL,
COMITTA, MUTH, HAYWOOD, KEARNEY, CAPPELLETTI, COSTA,
YUDICHAK, MENSCH AND TARTAGLIONE, JULY 1, 2021
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, JULY 1, 2021
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.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1553(a)(1), (b), (c) and (d)(1) and (2)
of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the
Public School Code of 1949, are 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] Update, within six (6) months of the effective
date of this section, a model dating violence policy to assist
school districts in developing policies for dating violence
reporting and response.
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(b) (1) Each school district [may] shall establish a
specific policy to address incidents of dating violence
involving students at school.
(2) The policy [may] shall include, but need not be limited
to: a statement that dating violence will not be tolerated;
violence reporting procedures; discipline procedures for
students that commit violence at school; and contact information
for and resources available through domestic violence programs
and rape crisis programs.
(3) A school district [that establishes the policy] shall:
(i) Publish the policy in any school district policy or
handbook that specifies the comprehensive rules, procedures and
standards of conduct for students at school.
(ii) Make the policy available on its publicly available
Internet website.
(iii) Provide parents and guardians with a copy of the
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] shall provide dating
violence training to guidance counselors, nurses and mental
health staff [at the high school level] serving students in
grades seven (7) through twelve (12). Upon the recommendation of
the district superintendent, other staff may be included or may
attend the training on a voluntary basis. The school district
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may also provide dating violence training to parents.
(2) The dating violence training [may] shall include, but
need not be limited to: basic principles of dating violence;
warning signs of dating violence; the intersections of dating
violence and other issues, such as sexual assault and harassment
that may affect students' safety and well-being; the school
district's dating violence policy; appropriate responses to
incidents of dating violence at school; 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 protection from abuse orders and
the availability of other services and assistance for students
and their families.
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Section 2. This act shall take effect in 180 days.
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