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Lawmakers Address Need For Anti-Bullying Legislation At Public Hearing In Philly

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.

"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.

"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."

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.

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