Press Releases

House Passes Rose’s Anti-Bullying Legislation Named in Honor of Staten Islander

Danny’s Law would establish an Anti-Bullying Roundtable to study and produce recommendations to end bullying in schools

Washington, September 16, 2020
Tags: Education

Video of Rose’s speech HERE.

 

The House of Representatives today passed Congressman Max Rose’s bipartisan legislation, Danny’s Law, to address bullying in schools. The legislation is named in honor of Daniel Fitzpatrick, a 13-year-old from Staten Island who took his own life as a direct result of bullying at school in August 2016. His mother became outspoken anti-bullying advocates and established the foundation Danny's Angel Network Nurturing Youth (D.A.N.N.Y.) Inc., which seeks to raise awareness and end bullying in schools.

 

“In times like this, when our country is growing ever more divided, we need to be teaching our children not the art of division, but how to one another, respect each other, work with each other,” Rose said in a speech on the House floor prior to passage. “Danny Fitzpatrick was one of those people. He was a boy who loved to love. He accepted each person as they are, and always found in them a shared humanity. Society, our society allowed a beautiful, young boy like Danny to be bullied so horribly that he took his own life at 13 years old. This should not happen in America, this cannot happen in America, not to any family. But his mother, Danny’s mother took her pain and made it her mission to ensure that no other family experiences this agony. We cannot get Danny back. We cannot erase his family’s pain. But what we can do right here is give Danny’s life meaning and protect all of America’s children, our children by passing this bill.”

 

Danny’s Law (H.R. 3659) was introduced by Rose last year and unveiled at a press conference with anti-bullying advocates and the Fitzpatrick family. The bipartisan legislation would direct the President to establish an “Anti-Bullying Roundtable,” a commission tasked with studying bullying in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. The Roundtable is to consult with State and local educational agencies regarding policies on bullying, stakeholder education, and instances of student violence and self-harm as a result of bullying. In the previous Congress, similar legislation was introduced by former-Congressman Dan Donovan.

 

Danny’s Law is the stake in the ground that sends a message across our country about justice and positive change to end the abusive cycle of bullying. Danny’s Law is a foundation that positive advocacy can be built on to change lives and save lives with the education of emotional literacy,” said Maureen Fitzpatrick, a Staten Island advocate who lost her son as a result of bullying and founded D.A.N.N.Y. Inc. in his honor. “I would like to thank Congressman Max Rose, his predecessor Daniel Donovan, the office of District Attorney Michael McMahon , and the community of Staten Island for their support and example of unity. It’s my hope that that the world embraces the teaching philosophies of love, kindness, compassion, understanding without judgement and expands exponentially across the world. It is an honor to see my son be a part of a positive legacy that isn’t just for him, but for all bully victims. Don’t Stop Believing in the journey for unity.”

 

The Roundtable will produce both a best practices report and a final report:

  • The best practices report would identify and recommend best practices concerning bullying in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. This report is to be submitted to Congress no later than 270 days after the Roundtable is formed.
  • The final report would detail the findings and conclusions of the Roundtable and recommend legislative and/or administrative actions to be taken. This report is to be submitted to Congress no later than one year after the Roundtable is formed.

 

The Roundtable is to be composed of 13 members, including one chairperson, appointed by the President for the duration of the Roundtable. The members, who would serve without pay, are to be stakeholders, such as teachers, parents of school children, and guidance counselors.

 

Full text of Rose’s speech on the House floor, as delivered:

 

I rise today to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 3659, otherwise known as Danny’s Law.

 

This bill will establish a roundtable of experts and stakeholders to study and report on the problem of bullying in our schools.

 

You know, this isn’t a new problem, but it’s one that is increasingly more prevalent and increasingly more complex. Kids today don’t just face bullying at school, they bring it home with them as well, home on their phones, home on their computers. It’s all over social media.

 

Addressing this problem will require a head on commitment, nationwide, to end bullying, one that involves not just lawmakers, but every single person in this nation – private sector, public sector, everyone.

 

I hope this bill will be a first step towards instilling emotional literacy in our young people, so that they can see the common humanity amongst each other, grow to be empathetic adults, and I sincerely hope that we can model that behavior as well for them.

 

In times like this, when our country is growing ever more divided, we need to be teaching our children not the art of division, but how to one another, respect each other, work with each other.

 

Danny Fitzpatrick was one of those people. He was a boy who loved to love. He accepted each person as they are, and always found in them a shared humanity.

 

Society, our society allowed a beautiful, young boy like Danny to be bullied so horribly that he took his own life at 13 years old.

 

This should not happen in America, this cannot happen in America, not to any family.

 

But his mother, Danny’s mother took her pain and made it her mission to ensure that no other family experiences this agony.

 

We cannot get Danny back. We cannot erase his family’s pain. But what we can do right here is give Danny’s life meaning and protect all of America’s children, our children by passing this bill.

 

I once again want to thank the staff, Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Foxx  for bringing this overdue bill to the floor.

 

I urge my colleagues, on behalf of America’s children, to vote yes, and I yield the balance of my time.

 

###