The Lead

Suburban Philly lawmaker’s bill would require schools to teach students about dating violence

By: - February 11, 2019 3:12 pm

(WikiMedia Commons photo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolescence#/media/File:Teens_sharing_a_song.jpg)

A Montgomery County lawmaker is hoping the second time’s the charm on bill that would require Pennsylvania high schools to teach “dating violence” education to their students.

In a ‘Dear Colleague’ memo sent out late last week, Rep. Thomas P. Murt, a Republican from Hatboro, cited Centers for Disease Control data showing that “approximately 10 percent of high school students surveyed reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to being surveyed.

Source: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, CDC

“Dating violence, and teen dating violence in particular, is an alarming trend that is becoming more widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects for young people,” Murt wrote. “To combat this increasing problem, and send a message to students about the importance of developing healthy relationships, over the past several years, at least 15 states have adopted requirements for age-appropriate instruction in dating violence prevention.”

The bill made the rounds in last year’s legislative session.

Current state law, Murt wrote, allows public schools to develop policies on dating violence; to provide training to school personnel and to offer instruction to students on how to avoid and address violent behavior in a partner. Murt’s bill would make these recommendations mandatory.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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