HB2461: Safe Schools Partnership Act

 

Summary

This legislation creates the Safer Schools Partnership within the Office of the Attorney General, which will be dedicated to developing solutions designed to make schools safer; primarily through the mitigation of bullying and other criminal behaviors in schools.

 

In addition to the Attorney General, the partnership will consist of the Secretary of Education, a representative of the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. The Secretaries of the Department of Heath and the Department of Human Services and the Directors of Homeland Security and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will serve as ex officio members of the partnership. Other members of the partnership would include representatives from law enforcement, professional statewide education associations, and community-based organizations concerned with child welfare.

The partnership would be responsible for developing a model bully identification, prevention, and intervention plan for use by schools. The model plan would include, among other things, statements prohibiting bullying and retaliation in schools; provisions for the prompt reporting, including anonymous reporting, and investigation of claims of bullying and retaliation, including cyber bullying; procedures governing parental notification and professional development of school employees; and strategies for protecting a student who reports bullying or retaliation, who provide information during an investigation of bullying or retaliation or who witnesses or who has reliable information about an act of bullying or retaliation. Furthermore, the model plan must include clear and concise procedures for reporting acts of bullying or retaliation to law enforcement and to providers of social media platforms, and the circumstances under which a school or law enforcement could request a social media provider to deactivate or suspend a perpetrator’s social media account.

 

Other provisions of the proposal would require schools to establish age-appropriate instruction in bullying identification, prevention, and intervention to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, require schools to collect and report bullying incident data to the Department of Education; and direct the Department of Education to develop a student survey to assess school climate and the prevalence, nature, and severity of bullying and other criminal behaviors in schools across the Commonwealth.

 

Sponsors

Kinsey, Bullock, Dean, McClinton, Thomas, Charlton, Dermody, Solomon, A. Davis, Schlossberg, Murt, Kirkland, Caltagirone, Driscoll, Schweyer, Frankel, DeLuca, Warren, Donatucci, Roebuck, Davis, Comitta, Fitzgerald, and Kortz

 

Actions

  • Referred to EDUCATION, June 5, 2018