PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania House Democrats gathered in Philadelphia Wednesday to hear from their constituents about the problem of bullying as they work on how to address the issue through legislation.
A policy hearing of the state Democratic Caucus was held at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown.READ MORE: Bucks County Police Chiefs Detail How George Floyd's Murder Changes How They Work
“The goal is to take a deeper look at legislation that I introduced along with representative Stephen Kinsey. That legislation would require schools, both public, private and parochial to have a curriculum that addresses bullying in the schools,” said State Representative Donna Bullock. “We think that that’s important. When we look at the statistics around bullying, we know that one in four children are being bullied.”
Dr. Claudio Curullo, founder of Teach Anti-Bullying Inc., says bullying is identified by the Centers For Disease Control as a public health issue.READ MORE: Body Of Missing Amish Teen Linda Stoltzfoos Found In Ronks, Lancaster District Attorney's Office Confirms
“However, what they struggle with is how to contain it, how to bring greater awareness,” he said, “because, unfortunately, we don’t have unilateral legislation.”
Dr. Cerullo says anti-bullying legislation would make a world of difference.
“In New Jersey, [bullying] has been reduced dramatically because you can hold people accountable,” Cerullo said. “Think of it as not having any crimes codes and people can do whatever they want. Right now you can do whatever you want, you’re not really held accountable until it escalated to an actual crime.”MORE NEWS: Earth Day 2021: How Philadelphia Is Protecting City's Drinking Water, Keeping Waterways Clean
The first step after getting it out of committee would be to pass anti-bullying legislation, the second step would be to come up with a curriculum.