A new bill, co-sponsored by State Rep. Erin Molchany (D-Brookline), is aimed at addressing bullying in Pennsylvania schools, and creates new requirements for school districts to deal with the issue.
The Pennsylvania Safe Schools legislation, known as the PASS Act, would establish procedures for responding to and reporting bullying in schools.
"The fact remains that students across the commonwealth are taunted, harassed and threatened at alarming rates. In particular, young members of the LGBT community (or those perceived to be) and racial minorities are at the highest risk," Molchany said in a statement released Wesnesday. "Every study that has analyzed the impact of bullying has shown the devastating consequences to students in the school environment and further."
The bill also would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to create an online website for school districts to more easily track incidents of bullying and violence that they are already required to report.
In addition, it would require school districts to develop a more comprehensive policy to define bullying, a step some local districts already have taken.
The Keystone Oaks School District recently updated its own anti-bullying policy to reflect changes in technology, including bullying that occurs over social media. Click here to read about the Keystone Oaks policy.