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Pennsylvania Proclaims October as Bullying Prevention Month

Advocates rally at the Pennsylvania state capitol

On October 15, advocates for bullying prevention gathered at the Pennsylvania state capitol to take a stand for the commonwealth’s 1.7 million students as Governor Wolf proclaimed October as Bullying Prevention Month. Students, parents, teachers, law enforcement, legislators and community partners rallied in support of bullying prevention efforts.

Bullying Prevention Month Press Release

   

Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Toolkit

The Center for Safe Schools and the Highmark Foundation proudly announce the launch of the Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Toolkit, a website that provides centralized, authoritative, easy-to-use information, tools and best practices to help families, schools and communities recognize, understand and prevent bullying and support children affected by it.

This new online toolkit ensures that parents have a fast-track to meeting needs when bullying occurs. It includes specific information about how to differentiate between bullying and conflict, how to respond to cyberbullying and potential legal implications of bullying-type behaviors. It contains a guide for connecting children to relevant assistance, a sample letter informing the school of a bullying incident, and a list of vetted resources on bullying intervention and support.

The toolkit provides valuable information for educators and others working with youth, including health care professionals, coaches and after school staff. It is especially valuable to schools that do not have bullying prevention programs in place and to agencies typically called upon in crisis situations. Related tip-sheets and guides are free and downloadable.

Go to Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Toolkit

   

Bullying Prevention Research Symposium Proceedings Paper

Convened by the Center for Safe Schools and the Highmark Foundation, the Bullying Prevention Research Symposium was held in April 2018 to engage stakeholders in reflecting on progress made in Pennsylvania's bullying prevention efforts during the past decade. Representatives from the education, health care and justice sectors, policy-makers, researchers, prevention program providers and grant-makers reviewed recent developments in the field and identified priorities for the future. This proceedings paper summarizes the workgroup discussions, common themes and identifies seven recommendations for advancing bullying prevention in the commonwealth.

Download the Proceedings Paper

   

Center for Safe Schools 20th Anniversary Conference

Keeping Our Children Safe: Strategies for Schools and Communities

The 2018 Safe Schools Conference will FOCUS ON CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE that supports academic success and student engagement. The conference will include state and national experts presenting the LATEST RESEARCH in school safety and youth violence prevention, EFFECTIVE PROGRAM MODELS, PROMISING PRACTICES, NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES and more. This 20th anniversary event will feature distinguished speakers, informative workshops and specialized exhibitors.

A special conference track for school security personnel from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS (NASRO) will provide a TWO-DAY COURSE ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING FOR SRO. School resource officers, school police officers, law enforcement and school safety leaders are qualified to attend.

This conference is designed to provide quality professional development opportunities for school administrators, student support personnel, teachers, school nurses, SAP team members, school resource officers, law enforcement and other community partners.

More information about the Safe Schools Conference

   

Forum for Families: Coping After the Overdose Death of a Parent or Child

September 20, 2017; Highmark Caring Place, Lemoyne, Pa.

What you have feared would happen, has happened. A loved one has died from substance use. Unsure who can be trusted, you don’t draw attention to your feelings or how your loved one died. You fly under the radar. You may withdraw. You have conflicting feelings about your loved one. You feel like you don’t relate well to even your best friends anymore. You feel like no one gets you or what you are going through. Beth Bitler, Program Director for PA Family Support Alliance; Terri Bowling, Child Grief Specialist at Highmark Caring Place; Terry and Lori Mishler, founders of Sara’s House of Hope; and participants in Highmark Caring Place program will offer information, support and personal stories of coping after the death of a loved one due to drug overdose. More Information

   

Information and Resources to Guard Against Viruses Spread by Mosquitoes Such As the Zika Virus Disease

The U.S. Department of Education would like to refer you to information and resources for state and local leaders, schools, school-based health staff and educators on steps that can be taken to guard against viruses spread by mosquitoes such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus disease.

Read more: Information and Resources to Guard Against Viruses Spread by Mosquitoes Such As the Zika Virus Disease

   

Free Resources Available from the Pennsylvania State Police

The Domestic Security Division of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) provides free services to assist schools. For technical assistance, other requests or to sign up for active shooter training contact PSP at ra-pspoffdomesticsecurity@pa.gov.

   

School Bus Audio Taping Approval

On February 4, 2014, Act 9 of 2014 was signed into law, approving the use of audio taping on school buses in Pennsylvania. In order for schools to comply with this law and use audio taping, schools and/or school boards must:

  • Adopt a school board policy that authorizes audio interception on school buses or vehicles for disciplinary or security purposes
  • Provide annual notification from the school board to parents and students via a mailed letter to the student's home
  • Post a notice on each bus furnished with audio-recording equipment that students may be audio taped
   

President Signs Bill Encouraging Schools to Stockpile Epinepherine

President Barack Obama signed a bill on November 13, 2013 to increase awareness of allergic reactions to students in schools. The bill offers a financial incentive to states if schools stockpile epinephrine, considered the first-line treatment for people with severe allergies. Read More

   

U.S. Department of Education Released Additional Information On Schools’ Responsibilities To Address Bullying

The U.S. Ed. advances nine evidence-based practices. These are consistent with many practices recommended by OBPP and supported by research.

The Center for Safe Schools recommends that you use these recommendations to guide your work with any school that is not engaged in OBPP. For schools engaged in OBPP, we recommend that you encourage fidelity to the OBPP  model and adhere to U.S. Ed’.s recommendations regarding parent notification.   

Effective Evidence-Based Practices for Preventing and Addressing Bullying
OSERS Guidance Letter

   

Pedestrian Safety Videos

PennDOT has developed four videos to provide a visual and entertaining way to educate parents, students and young motorists about pedestrian safety.

One Parent to Another
Targets parents on how to teach their children the basics of safe walking.

Walk This Way
Teaches elementary school children safety tips when walking to and from school.

Why Walking Rules
Teaches middle school children safety tips when walking to and from school.

Close Call
Teaches young motorists how and why to safely operate a motor vehicle in relationship to pedestrians.

   

School Responsibilities to Pre-Plan and Prepare with Emergency Responders

Pennsylvania schools have a requirement under chapter 10 of 22 PA Code to plan and prepare for emergencies.  Pre-incident collaboration between emergency responders and schools is essential. More Information

   

Free Information from U.S. ED Publications

The U.S. Department of Education produces a variety of free information on the topics of safety, crime and violence in the Nation’s schools. The intended audience for this information is educators, administrators, safety officials and parents. All of the information is available at no cost from the ED Pubs website.

   

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Training Documents Released

The Department of Health in consultation with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, the Department of Education and other key stakeholders has provided the documents as the training course for athletic coaches to read and sign in compliance with Act 59. The Department of Health does not, at this time, have a training course or presentation ready for the date of enactment, therefore the documents will serve as both the training guide and coach acknowledgement. Pennsylvania Department of Education will publish full information on their web site when the material becomes available.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Education and Information

Athlete/Parent/Guardian Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symptoms and Warning Signs Information Sheet and Acknowledgement of Receipt and Review Form

   

Toolkit Helps to Prevent Suicide Among High School Students

SAMHSA has released Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools. This toolkit represents the best available evidence and expert opinion on preventing suicide among high school students. It provides schools with recommended steps and accompanying tools to guide them in creating and implementing strategies and programs that prevent teen suicide and promote behavioral health among their students. Click here to download the toolkit.

   

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