In Pennsylvania, all children of “compulsory school age” must attend school. In Philadelphia, the compulsory school age is six (6) years old- seventeen (17) years old. The Philadelphia School District student attendance policy lists acceptable reasons why a student’s absence from school will be excused. Unfortunately, if a student is fearful about attending school due to bullying, the law does not excuse the student from attending school. A student or his/her parent/guardian or a third party who believes s/he has been subjected to bullying and harassment is encouraged to immediately report the incident to the principal or designee, or to any other member of the school staff, including teachers, guidance counselors, bilingual counseling assistants (BCAs), coaches, and administrators.
The School District of Philadelphia Bullying and Harassment Administrative Procedure lists the following reporting procedures:
- The complainant is encouraged to use the Bullying and Harassment Reporting and Investigation Form, but oral and electronic complaints shall be acceptable.
- The principal or designee shall complete the Form if the complainant chooses to make an oral or electronic report. All reports will be documented using the Bullying and Harassment Reporting and Investigation Form.
- Reports will be promptly and appropriately investigated by the principal or principal’s designee, consistent with the students’ due process rights, using the Bullying and Harassment Reporting and Investigation Form, within two (2) school days after receipt of the report.
The School Reform Commission strives to provide a healthy safe, positive learning climate for students in the schools. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the district to maintain an educational environment in which harassment and sex discrimination (including sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence) in any form is not tolerated.
Below are some helpful links for additional information:
For more information contact Erica Payne, MS – Truancy Intervention and Prevention Services (T.I.P.S) Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.