Proposed Pennsylvania Bill Promotes Anti-Bullying Policies

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Every public school district in Pennsylvania may be required to enact an anti-bullying policy if a bill proposed to the state Senate earlier this week is approved in a vote coming this fall.

The bill comes in response to a 5 percent increase in reported cases of school bullying, which sponsors of the bill say is the underlying cause of school violence and even teen suicide. Supporters of the measure also think that if the policy is enforced in all Pennsylvania school districts, it will help identify and improve awareness of bullying, including written, verbal and electronic intimidation.

The major backer of the bill is Bully Police USA, an organization formed by the mother of a teen who committed suicide after being bullied repeatedly. Its Web site is home to various support groups for parents and children who are victims of bullying as well as an online report card that grades states according to their bullying policies.

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