Senator, Students, Teachers and Administrators from Dunmore Middle School Highlights Need for Action on Bullying
Dunmore, PA- Today, at Dunmore Middle School, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for passage of his recently introduced legislation to prevent bullying and harassment in schools.
“Children deserve to go to school without fear or intimidation,” said Senator Casey. “Bullying and harassment affect millions of students every year. This legislation will help ensure that we are providing children with a quality education that builds self-confidence.”
At Dunmore Middle School, continuing to push for passage of my Safe Schools Improvement Act [pic]: 4sq.com/10vEpOQ— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) March 11, 2013
The Safe Schools Improvement Act would require schools and districts that receive federal funding to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, encouraging them to implement effective prevention programs to respond to incidents of bullying and harassment. Senator Casey introduced this legislation this week with Mark Kirk (R-IL) and other cosponsors.
The bill requires school districts receiving federal funds adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. The bill also requires states to collect information on incidents of bullying and harassment and report this information to the Department of Education. This data must also be readily available to the public so that parents and the local community may know what is happening in their schools.
Dunmore School District uses elements of two anti-bullying programs and each year the counselors provide small group instruction within the classrooms, along with large group presentations. Also, the counselors provide educational presentations to district parents and faculty members. At the elementary level the school has developed an age appropriate puppet show in which students in grades 6 take an active role as positive role models for students in grades K-5 by acting as puppeteers.
All aspects of the school’s anti-bullying initiatives focus on the three participants in a bullying scenario: the bully, the "bullied" (victim), and the bystander. Most of Dunmore’s efforts focus on the role of the bystander. As such, their students can begin to take an active role in changing the school climate in an effective way.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act has received broad support from educators, administrators and civil rights organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers, American School Health Association, National Association of School Psychologists, National Education Association, National Parent Teacher Association, American Association of University Women, Asian American Justice Center, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Human Rights Campaign and the National Council of La Raza