On Monday, October 30, Congressmember Dan Donovan unveiled legislation to help address the rise of bullying in classrooms nationwide.
The bill – named “Danny’s Law” and created in memory of Danny Fitzpatrick, a Staten Island teen with Bay Ridge roots who took his own life after facing relentless bullying just weeks before his 14th birthday – would create an anti-bullying task force composed of teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, parents and even bullied children, to develop anti-bullying practices in the classroom and beyond.
The Fitzpatrick family helped develop and introduce the bill.
“Danny’s Law seeks solutions for our nation’s bullying epidemic by creating protocols for educators, parents, and students to dare to care and end the silence,” said Danny’s mother, Maureen Fitzpatrick. “With the policies that come from Danny’s Law, we can have positive interventions and a safe environment to help both bullies and victims. A task force of experts taking a look at the problem and offering solutions within and beyond the educational system is the right way forward.”
“We can’t bring Danny back, but we can honor his life by preventing this type of tragedy from happening to another child and family,” said Donovan. “Danny’s family is incredibly brave to channel their grief into action. There isn’t one perfect solution, but Danny’s Law is a first step to creating a comprehensive strategy to tackle bullying nationwide.”
The proposal has already seen support from education advocacy organizations and unions, such as the United Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.