Penn Hills Unanimously Passes Anti-Bullying Law

New Ordinance Levies Fines Against Guardians of Bullies

Robert Mangino
April 03, 2018 - 6:35 pm
Students Bullying

By Jennifer Bloodworth for NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

PENN HILLS (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Penn Hills is using the law to combat bullying in schools.

Penn Hills council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night that would allow the municipality to fine parents or guardians of students under the age of 18 who fail to resolve bullying, harassment or intimidation of others within 90 days of receiving a written warning of the situation.

The fine can be as high as $600 plus court fees. Those found guilty can also complete community service in lieu of the monetary fine.

Penn Hills School Board president Erin Vecchio told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News Tuesday the issue of bullying is serious and requires serious action.

“I think it’s a very serious problem. It’s everywhere. It’s just not Penn Hills; it’s everywhere,” Vecchio said of bullying. “It’s the society we live in.”

Vecchio believes the municipality’s support is critical in holding parents accountable.  

“If they don’t stop the same pattern, then we’re going to have to go after somebody in the family to make sure that it stops.”

John Petrucci is the councilman who introduced the measure after learning about similar laws in Baldwin and Sharpsburg.

“Bullying has a serious adverse effect on education and students who are targeted often experience extreme stress that can lead to symptoms of physic al illness and diminished ability to learn,” Petrucci told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News Monday. “This translates into absenteeism and poorer performances in their test scores.”

Petrucci also explained why he felt the municipality should

“This is something that needs to be stopped. We’re going into an institute of learning and that’s what they should be doing. They should be learning, not being harassed or bullied.”