PSEA President testifies on bullying prevention
PSEA President Mike Crossey commended the PA House Education Committee for scheduling a public hearing on bullying issues, emphasizing that problems connected with bullying in Pennsylvania's schools require solutions involving schools, students, and communities.
Crossey testified during the Committee's public hearing on Oct. 10.
“Bullying prevention must occur each and every day,” Crossey said. “Any type of bullying is unacceptable and any incident must be taken seriously by students, educators, staff, administrators, parents, and members of the community.”
In his testimony, Crossey pointed to initiatives PSEA has undertaken to address bullying issues and make recommendations about how the Commonwealth can do more to ensure that students are free from the physical, psychological, and academic dangers bullying presents.
Find a copy of Crossey's testimony on PSEA.org.
Crossey indicated that PSEA has taken a leadership role on bullying issues, by including recommendations and information in PSEA's Solutions That Work initiative (www.solutionsthatworkpa.org), providing information to parents as part of the Partners for Public Education program (www.partnersforpubliced.org), and working with policymakers to shape anti-bullying initiatives and legislation.
Crossey said that, in the last several years, PSEA has advocated for improvements to Pennsylvania's bullying statute and supported Act 61 of 2008. Act 61 establishes a more comprehensive definition of bullying that includes “electronic” communications; requires school districts to enact policies providing for bullying prevention, intervention, and awareness of the problem; and requires districts to delineate discipline for bullying.
“While Act 61 has been helpful in increasing awareness and most likely reducing incidences of bullying in Pennsylvania, we can and should do more to address this critical issue,” Crossey said.
“We all have a stake in making our schools safe for the students who learn there,” Crossey said. “To do that, we must all work together not only to intervene when incidences of bullying occur, but to create the safest possible learning environments and prevent bullying in the first place.”
Visit PSEA's Bullying/Cyberbullying toolkit to find resources and information for parents, students, and educators.