Kinsey, Bullock talk bullying education at House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 31 –State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Donna Bullock, both D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown to address the bullying pandemic and their House Bill 2009 to require bullying education across all grade levels.

Kinsey and Bullock were joined by House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, state legislators, and advocates to discuss how mandating bullying education can help stop bullying and protect students across the state. Bullock and Kinsey’s bill is part of House Democrats’ Plan4PA and efforts to facilitate quality schools.

“As we work to give children the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and in life, bullying education has to be a part of that conversation. Making sure that students receive bullying education at all grade levels will help to engrain in their mindset that it is just as important to acquire critical classroom skills as it is to treat others with kindness and respect, regardless of their differences,” Kinsey explained.

Bullock said, “Today, bullying goes beyond the classroom and play yard and extends into the online realm. Social media platforms provide a whole new forum for bullies to attack. Implementing bullying prevention policies is a logical solution that can help students better understand the long-term impact bullying could have on others and to stand up for those who may be afraid to stand up for themselves.”

Sturla added, “Bullying is a problem faced by school districts across the state. Representatives Kinsey and Bullock are working hard to tackle the issue head on and I believe will make a difference in how Pennsylvania educators and students can work together to put a stop to bullying.”

The committee heard testimony from Amanda Rice, counselor, and Gesu Justice League students, Gesu School; Pamela Pendleton and Mark Smith, advocates; Melany Nelson, executive director, Northwest Victims Service; Victoria Greene, executive director, Every Murder is Real; Dr. Claudio Cerullo, founder and CEO, Teach Anti-Bullying, Inc.; Anthony Washington, police inspector, Philadelphia Police Department; Gaylen Conley, director of police operations, School District of Philadelphia; Sederia Brown, founder and CEO, Know 2 Bullying Coalition; Jeff Templeton, founder and executive director, Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids; DeAngelo Harris and Drew Johnson, paralegals, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office; and Roi Ligon, Jr., Safe Schools Advocate, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency 

Materials from today’s Hearing will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee. Additional information about the Plan4PA is available at https://www.pahouse.com/