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April 1, 2011

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In this issue:  

Anti-bullying legislation clears committee

Bill to fully include children in disaster planning advances

"Where We Live" looks at families in the recession

Tuesday, April 5: Legislative forum on reading instruction

The Commission and DCF collaborate on parenting tips

Keeping up with PLTI

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Anti-bullying legislation clears committee

The legislature's Education Committee has given unanimous approval to a bill that would strengthen the state's bullying laws. The bill would:

  • expand the definition of school bullying to include “cyber-bullying,” bullying through the use of electronic devices or on the Internet, and certain other behavior that occurs off school grounds.

  • require annual training for all school employees -- including bus drivers and cafeteria workers -- on how to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. Under the current law, only teachers and administrators receive training.

  • require school employees to report bullying within one school day after learning about it. The school’s principal or safe school specialist would then have 10 days to investigate.

  • require beginning teachers and administrators to undergo anti-bullying training before receiving certification.

Momentum for bolstering the existing law has been building since last November, when a public forum on the issue—including a keynote address by Kevin Jennings, the U.S. Department of Education's "point person" on bullying—drew more than 500 students, parents, educators, and government officials to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The forum was organized by the Commission on Children, the Governor's Prevention Partnership, and the state Department of Education.

Bill to fully include children in disaster planning advances

Two legislative committees—the Select Committee on Children and the Public Safety and Security Committee—have endorsed legislation that would include child-care centers as well as schools in the state's multi-hazard evacuation plans. The bill now awaits action by the state Senate. Connecticut is one of the few states to include a specific committee for children in its disaster planning.

'Where We Live' looks at families in the recession

The recession has had a profound impact on family life in Connecticut, with economic stress forcing many changes in roles and responsibilities. The WNPR-FM morning interview program "Where We Live," hosted by John Dankosky, recently devoted an hour to examining these changes, with guests who included two parents and Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman. Listen to the program here.

Tuesday, April 5: Legislative forum on reading instruction

The forum, which starts at 1 p.m. in Room 1-D of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, will have an expert panel that includes Ralph Smith, executive vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Dr. Marilyn Adams, author of “Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.” Event flyer (PDF) | Directions to the LOB

Commission, DCF collaborate on parenting tips

Each workday in March, the Department of Children and Families posted on its Facebook page and its CT Parenting website a new tip for parents on early child care, using information and links supplied by the Commission on Children. We thank DCF for recognizing the value of prevention and getting this information to new parents.

Keeping up with PLTI

Check our blog for the Parent Leadership Training Institute to get the latest news on what's going on at the various PLTI sites and learn about the latest accomplishments of parents who've graduated from the Commission's popular 20-week civics course. PLTI blog | Learn more about PLTI

The Commission on Children: 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, CT  06106-1591.
Phone: 860.240.0290  Fax: (860) 240-0248  Website:

About the Commission:
Created in 1985 by the Connecticut General Assembly, the Commission on Children brings together the three branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial--as well as the private sector to promote public policies in the best interests of children. More

Commission members (all volunteer):
M. Alex Geertsma, M.D., F.A.A.P., Chair; George A. Coleman, Vice Chair; Mary Grace Reed, Secretary; James P. Cordier, Treasurer; Laura Lee Simon, Chair Emerita; Mary K. Fox; Robert Francis; Andrew Gibson, Ph.D.; Jordan E. Grossman, Ed.D.; Alison Hilding; Josh Piteo; Justine Rakich-Kelly; Barbara J. Ruhe; and Ron Ward. Ex-officio members: commissioners of children and families, developmental services, public health, education, social services, and correction; the secretary of policy and management; the attorney general; and the chief court administrator. More information

Commission staff:
Elaine Zimmerman, executive director; Thomas R. Brooks, director of policy and research analysis; Dawn Homer-Bouthiette, Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) director; Kevin Flood, public information officer and webmaster; Mary Kate Lowndes, director of development; Edie Luciano, legislative secretary. Contact information

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Newsletter editor: Kevin Flood

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