PITTSBURGH, PA (July 21, 2021) Mayor William Peduto signed an Executive Order today for the development and implementation of a Youth Bullying Prevention Policy to cover all youth-focused programming provided by the City of Pittsburgh.
"The City offers our youngest residents opportunities to play sports, engage in career exploration, build skills and express their creativity,” said Mayor Peduto. “Today, we reaffirm our commitment as a city to providing kids with safe and healthy spaces to be themselves no matter who they are, how they identify, how they choose to express themselves or where they come from. Bullying has a dangerous impact on the mental and physical health of our youngest residents. These harmful actions have no place in Pittsburgh, and my Executive Order represents a major step toward preventing and responding to bullying incidents in city facilities."
The Executive Order directs city departments that work with young people to develop a unified anti-bullying policy to create safe space for young people in city facilities, particularly those of protected classes who may be more vulnerable to bullying. Being bullied can lead to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, loss of interest and absence from school or programs. Data shows that children with disabilities, immigrant children, children of color and LGBTQIA+ youth are much more likely to be bullied and verbally harassed.
The order also calls for the ongoing training of staff to recognize and mitigate bullying as well as help cultivate better understanding of youth experiencing bullying such as Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression (SOGIE) training.
Mayor Peduto has called for the Departments of Parks and Recreation, Human Resourves and Civil Service and Public Safety to develop and publicize the Youth Bullying Prevention Policy and share with external partners to develop similar policies.
A full copy of the Executive Order is available here.