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Center for Safe Schools News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Law for Youth Athletes
The "Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act," which goes into effect before the start of the 2012-13 school year, requires schools to issue an information sheet to parents of student-athletes about warning signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest. Parents must sign and return the form to the school before their children can participate in athletics. Click here to read the full statute.
- NIHCM Foundation Webinar Creating Safer Schools & Healthier Children: A Model Bullying Prevention Program
- The Mid-Atlantic Equity Center Online Sessions
- Free School Bus Driver In-service Programs
- School Bus Driver Training on Bullying Prevention
- Asst. U.S. Attorney General Robinson and OJJDP Acting Administrator Slowikowski Discourage the Use of “Scared Straight” Programs
- Assigning Police Officers to Schools
- Responding to a Suicide Cluster: Palo Alto School District
- FBI Video on Best Practices for CCTV Systems: Caught on Camera
- The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Risk Vulnerability Assessment Team Security Assessment
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