PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a major problem in many school districts and on public playgrounds.
Bullying not only harms the child, but can also lead to anti-social behavior that endangers others.
Now, Sen. Bob Casey says it’s time the federal government paid more attention to the issue.
Sen. Casey greeted students at the Mifflin K-8 school Friday morning to talk about his bi-partisan bill to address bullying in schools.
He asked the kids to think of Heinz Field.
“Sixty-thousand people — that’s a big crowd — and we know what it looks like on television or if you’re there in person, but that’s the number of students every day in America, according to one study, that don’t go to school because of bullying or harassment of some kind,” said Sen. Casey.
Casey’s bill will require schools receiving federal dollars to draft codes specifically prohibiting bullying, to adopt effective anti-bullying programs and to keep records of bullying incidents.
He said Pittsburgh Mifflin has an on-going anti-bullying program with signs throughout the school condemning the practice. It signals that the school is a bully-free zone.
“We work to bring awareness to bullying in our school so that students can feel safe to report bullying and to stop it,” said Kaitlin Pistella, an eighth grader.
And Lutual Love, whose child was once bullied, started the anti-bullying campaign by bringing parents into the effort.
“We were not always professional in our way of doing things, so we reached out to A-Plus Schools,” said Love. “We became ambassadors as we were trained by A-Plus Schools who taught us how to advocate and move forward in a professional manner.”
But all said students were key. They need to report bullying or, at the least, make friends with the victims of bullying.
“That’s something all of us can do, right?” said Sen. Casey.