Burns to host school bullying roundtable in Ebensburg

Public event will include superintendents from local school districts

EBENSBURG, Feb. 14 – On Tuesday, Feb. 18, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, will be joined by representatives from 10 area schools to discuss school bullying and a pilot program that one area school has initiated to address the issue in its classrooms.

The event, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Ebensburg Borough Building on West High Street, is open to the public.

“I’m holding this roundtable with local educators so that we can share best practices and talk about what works and what doesn’t work when we’re confronting bullying in our schools,” said Burns, who has been a leader in the legislature on the subject and recently introduced a package of anti-bullying bills. “It’s critical that schools have the tools they need to track bullying and that state laws hold students, parents and officials accountable at all levels so students can focus on learning.”

In addition to discussing and gathering feedback on his legislation, Burns and the educators also plan to discuss an anti-bullying pilot program that the Penn Cambria School District began this school year using software developed by HIBster, a Johnstown-area company. The district will present its experience reporting and tracking bullying more aggressively and how the software has aided that process.

The pilot program started after Burns held a similar discussion on bullying in 2018 in Upper Yoder Township, after he refined his legislation and helped connect HIBster and Penn Cambria.

“Bullying isn’t an issue that will be solved just through any single piece of legislation or any one program,” Burns said. “We need to be open and willing to try different things, and that is why roundtables like this are so critical as we try to address this issue.”