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Stronger measures curbing school bullying, empowering victims become law


052314CM0795RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago 7) hailed today’s signing of legislation she sponsored requiring school districts to adopt robust anti-bullying policies that protect and empower victims and address bullying behavior. Since 2007, public school districts and non-sectarian private schools have been required to prohibit bullying. Steans and House sponsor Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago 14) introduced their plan in order to nudge schools with boilerplate or poorly enforced policies to have community-wide conversations resulting in effective procedures for combating bullying.

“Every child deserves to be safe at school,” Steans said. “Bullying behavior harms both the victim and the bully, and every school should be taking steps to stop the cycle and promote the wellbeing of its students. Most schools already do this every day; this legislation makes sure we’re all moving in the same direction.”

Juneteenth: The Road from Slavery to Freedom

State Senator Mattie Hunter commemorates Juneteeth Day

HunterJuneteenth2014On June 19, 1865, Texan slaves learned two-and-a-half years later of their pending freedom and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. On the 140th anniversary of their freedom, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed legislation designating the third Saturday of every June, Juneteenth Day in Illinois.

Hunter, an advocate for civil and human rights, released the following statement today:

“Juneteenth, the oldest celebration of the ending of slavery, marks freedom for all African-Americans. African-American history is American history. It is Illinois’ history.

“Because of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the Union soldiers who informed southern slaves of their freedom, we now have great African-American leaders like President Barack Obama.

“I passed legislation in 2003 to recognize our ancestors who worked tirelessly to build this country. It served as a reminder of how far we’ve come as a society and how far we need to go. I wanted to ensure that young people were aware of the great struggles, the great triumphs, which have shaped Illinois and the U.S.”

Delgado discusses YMCA’s Active Green Space during visit

YMCA1State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) met with Stephen Vick; McCormick Tribune YMCA executive director; Rosa Nodal, youth and family director of the branch; and Roberto Rivera, president of The Good Life Organization, to tour the McCormick Tribune YMCA. The group took the opportunity to discuss an Active Green Space initiative.

The Active Green space would be to engage community members in the process of horticulture. Participants would learn about proper nutrition and green energy alternatives.

“We need to find ways to make healthy living habits more interesting and accessible to our community,” Delgado said. “Proper nutrition is a way to prevent a number of health issues.”

Horticulture revolves around the art, science, technology and business that take part in plant cultivation. Those who practice horticulture focus on the nutritional value and resistance to diseases and insects, among other things.

The YMCA plans to use the Active Green Space for horticulture, youth outdoor education and community workshops.

“Facilities like the YMCA are indispensible in our communities,” Delgado said. “Their Active Green Space is just another innovative way to move our community forward.”

Stadelman's school safety improvement signed into law

300pxStadelmanSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman's (D-Rockford) measure allowing the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to make grants for safety and security improvements to various public K-12 school districts and area vocation centers was signed by the governor.

"This plan increases safety and ensures that our K-12 schools are adequately prepared in the case of an emergency," Stadelman said. "Now, IEMA can make safety grants to K-12 schools just as they can for colleges and universities."

IEMA wanted the ability to issue grants schools providing K-12 education and inter-district special education cooperatives.

Upon learning of this, Stadelman sponsored a measure to allow IEMA to issue safety grants to schools. Like the safety grants to institutions of higher education, the funding would come from the Illinois Bond Fund.

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