Governor Wolf Signs Anti-Hazing Bill, Four Others Into Law

May 24, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed new legislation that will strengthen Pennsylvania school districts’ ability to crack down on hazing, and require school boards to adopt anti-hazing policy. House Bill 1574, sponsored by Rep. Ron Marsico, amends the current Anti-Hazing Law of 1986.

“This expansion of the current anti-hazing law, which currently applies only to institutes of higher education, is a huge step in keeping Pennsylvania students protected from bullying and abuse,” Governor Wolf said. “Children need to feel safe during the school day, as well as after school, in order to achieve the highest educational success. This bill will allow schools take necessary steps to help ensure that.”

HB 1574 takes several steps to address hazing issues in schools:

• Expands the current law to apply to secondary schools, defined as any public or private school providing instruction to grades 7 through 12
• Amends the definition of hazing to apply the prohibited behaviors to any person, rather than only a student
• Requires each governing board of a secondary school to adopt a written anti-hazing policy and to provide this policy, along with the school’s rules, penalties, and program enforcement, to all athletic coaches involved with the school’s programs
• Requires each governing board of a secondary school to post its written anti-hazing policy on its website
• Amends the enforcement and penalties subsection of the law to provide that expulsion may also be a penalty for a violation of the institution’s anti-hazing rules

The new law will take effect on July 25, 2016.

Governor Wolf also signed four other bills into law, including:

Act 28 – House Bill 944, sponsored by Rep. Taylor, amends the Community & Economic Improvement Act streamlining operation of neighborhood improvement districts, within cities of the first class.

Act 29 – House Bill 1200, sponsored by Rep. Taylor, repeals a 1903 law that was moved by a subsequent statute but was never repealed.

Act 30 – House Bill 1310, sponsored by Rep. Donatucci, amends Title 35 (Health & Safety), in emergency telephone service, providing for prohibited release of information.

Act 32 – House Bill 1788, sponsored by Rep. White, amends the Community & Economic Improvement Act providing for special financing assessments.

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