Helping to prevent bullying in schools

Today, I visited Joseph Pennell Academics Plus School in Philadelphia to discuss the bullying and harassment epidemic facing our schools.  I went to discuss the Safe Schools Improvement Act (S. 3739), which aims to help prevent bullying in schools.  I was joined by PA Rep. Mark Cohen, representatives from the School District of Philadelphia and school leaders on a tour of the school to observe the initiatives they have in place to help teachers and students prevent bullying.

Bullying in Schools

Bullying and harassment affect millions of students every year. While we do have federal laws to provide support to promote school safety, there is nothing currently in place to comprehensively and expressly address issues of bullying or harassment.  I applaud the work being done in the School District of Philadelphia to combat this epidemic.  I introduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help ensure that every child receives a quality education that builds self-confidence.  This bill is a crucial step towards ensuring that no child is so afraid to go to school that he or she stays home for fear of bullying.

At Pennell, I learned about some of the great steps being taken by the school district. I visited with 4th graders who were learning new ways to resolve conflicts and to get along.  After a discussion with leaders from the school, I joined the kids for structured recess,î which helps children to learn through play. Structured recess has reduced injuries and bullying, and students are able to return to the classroom ready to learn.  It is a wonderful tool for learning.  

We must make sure that all children can attend a safe school, so they may one day reach their potential.  I ask that you support my efforts to raise awareness about bullying by having conversations with your children and grandkids about the importance of mutual respect.