Rep. Erin Molchany has announced her co-sponsorship of the Pennsylvania Safe Schools legislation, to be known as the PASS Act.
Rep. Molchany stood along with a bipartisan group of legislators in support of legislation addressing the bullying epidemic in Pennsylvania 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,” Ms. Molchany said. “Every study that has analyzed the impact of bullying has shown the devastating consequences to students in the school environment and further, the detrimental effects that can remain with a person for a lifetime.
“As a community of legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, we can all agree that the safety of Pennsylvania’s children is a priority. No child should ever fear for her life when at school, and no parent should ever be uncertain about the safety of a school environment. Our children’s well-being is our obligation as representatives.”
At its core, the bill would require school districts to develop a more comprehensive policy to define bullying, establish procedures for both responding to and reporting it, and train school district employees. The legislation 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 they are already required to report.
“With bipartisan support, I’m hopeful that this inclusive bill will become law and be a first step toward addressing bullying and discrimination in our schools,” Rep. Molchany said.