Bookmark this page on your mobile

QR Code image

What is this?

Daily Court Reporter - News Bipartisan duo proposes instruction for students on child sex abuse prevention

 

Bipartisan duo proposes instruction for students on child sex abuse prevention

KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

Society's failure to establish an environment that protects children's innocence is the motivation for Erin's Law - a bill to require Ohio school districts to provide annual, age-appropriate instruction in child sexual abuse prevention to kindergartners and high school seniors, alike.

Rep. Dan Ramos, a Lorain Democrat and joint sponsor of the bill, said the failure has been compounded by state and federal governments' inadequacy to establish a safe forum to help abused children identify those actions as abuse and get help in obtaining intervention, recovering and protecting themselves in the future.

"Few issues can affect the long-term mental health and success of a student as much as exposure to sexual abuse," Ramos told Education and Career Readiness Committee members during testimony last week. "Unfortunately, this problem is far too widespread in the United States.

"Every six minutes a child is sexually assaulted in the United States and as many as one in four girls, and one in six boys, are sexually assaulted before age 18. Despite widespread occurrence of these horrific acts, only one in 10 children who are sexually abused tells someone."

Filed as House Bill 377, the bill also would require all school districts, educational service centers and community and STEM schools to incorporate training on child sexual abuse into its required in-service training for teachers and other professionals.

According to analysis provided by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the training must count toward the satisfaction of requirements for professional development required by the district, service center, or school.

The bill's namesake, Erin Merryn, a sex abuse survivor who later confronted her abuser, has led the charge across the nation for passage of legislation, such as HB 377, Ramos said.

Similar bills have been passed by legislatures in 31 states while another 17 states are considering such legislation.

"This issue was first brought to my attention in February of 2013 by a group of students at Lorain County Community College," Ramos said. "Their work on this issue, both within Ohio and during out-of-state academic conferences, has acted as an inspiration to me as I have pursued a legislative solution to work to address this issue.

"Over the course of 2013, I worked with these students to draft legislation that would address the issue here in Ohio and incorporate best practices from similar proposals in other states."

Joint sponsor Rep. Christina Hagan, R-Alliance, signed on to work with Ramos on the bill for introduction to the Ohio House of Representatives - a first time - during the 131st General Assembly of the legislature.

Erin's Law previously made it as far as Senate committee referral before stalling.

"I'm excited to bring it before you again today," an optimistic Ramos told fellow lawmakers. "I firmly believe in the good that we can do when working together.

"Particularly, I believe we have an obligation to our communities and to our state's citizens to find common ground when working on issues that affect children and their education."

Legislative Service Commission analyst Mike Niemi noted that HB 377 would provide that instruction in child sexual abuse prevention must include information on available counseling and resources for children who are sexually abused.

"(And) regarding sexual violence prevention education, the bill provides that, if the parent or legal guardian of a student less than 18 years of age submits to the school's principal a written request to examine the instruction materials used at that school, the principal, within a reasonable period of time, must allow the parent or guardian to examine those materials at that school," Niemi wrote.

Ramos said he and Hagan took care to avoid language that would impose upon a local community issues they may deem inappropriate for their children.

"Already, I have heard from student organizations at Ohio University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College who have expressed their support for this bill and desire to provide testimony to the committee," he said. "It is not lost on me that these students supporting this legislation are often those most likely to have suffered from, or known someone who suffered from, sexual abuse as a child."

Finally, HB 377 also would require the state Department of Education to provide web links to free curricula addressing sexual violence prevention to assist schools in developing their curricula.

Nine fellow House members have cosponsored the bill, which had not been scheduled a second hearing at time of publication.

Date Published: December 7, 2017

 

Copyright © 2017 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved

 

Avoid packing on pounds during the holidays

During the holidays, do you find yourself overindulging in the pies, cakes, and cookies? Civilian Health Promotions Services can help keep you on track to avoid gaining those extra pounds while we celebrate the holiday season.

Gorillas make debut in Cincinnati Zoo’s new indoor habitat

The much-anticipated indoor habitat for Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s gorillas will open to the public, December 6. Donors and sponsors, including The Spaulding Foundation, Harry and Linda Fath, Farmer Family Foundation, and Gorilla Glue, officially cut the ribbon and previewed the facility earlier today.

Safe Food Handler Training - Youth Resource Center

The Montgomery County Youth Resource Center is offering Safe Food Handler Level 1 Training to youth ages 14 to 24. If you are interested in working in food service, this course is for you! Safe Food Handler empowers employees as they learn how food becomes unsafe and what their role is in keeping food safe. ServSafe® is the industry standard for food safety education. This class is for youth and young adults who want to have an advantage in the food service industry, which can be at a restaurant, grocery store, or food bank. Upon completion of this course, the participant will receive a certificate of completion.

Skinner pipe organ performances at The Dayton Art Institute

Hear the museum's recently restored Skinner pipe organ! Beginning November 30, the Dayton Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will present holiday organ performances in the Renaissance Auditorium every Thursday, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., through December 28.

UD falls 78-70 to Penn

The University of Dayton men's basketball fell to Penn 78-70 on Saturday at UD Arena. Stats were fairly even across the board except for three-point shooting.

Drug dealer who said lawyer 'tricked' him into plea deal has appeal denied

A three-judge panel recently affirmed a Scioto County Court of Common Pleas decision denying a man’s post-sentence motion to withdraw a guilty plea in his drug trafficking case.

Five Ohioans sentenced for insurance fraud after investigation

Five people across Ohio have been sentenced for insurance crimes resulting from investigative work by the Ohio Department of Insurance, department director Jillian Froment announced.

ODNR geologic research grants awarded for third year

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has awarded geologic research grants to two Ohio graduate school students from the ODNR Division of Geological Survey’s Ohio Geology License Plate Fund. The student research will broaden understanding of the state’s natural history and may assist in future development of resources.

New projects expected to create more than $477 million in investments

Recently Governor John R. Kasich announced the approval of assistance for 15 projects set to create 2,338 new jobs and retain 1,857 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $107 million in new payroll, and spur more than $477 million in investments across Ohio.

Fashion maven's group donates designer dresses to girls who can't afford them

School dresses aren't cheap, and many dresses today are far out of reach for low-income girls and their families.

Children’s charity and its telemarketer accused of bilking over $4.2 million from Ohio donors

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine recently announced a lawsuit against a purported children’s charity, its operators, and its fundraiser for allegedly defrauding Ohio donors and misleading them about how their money would be spent.

Disaster relief bill advances in Senate, raises constitutional question

A House bill devised to make it easier for out-of-state businesses and employees to come to the aid of Ohioans during a disaster landed a first hearing late last month before Senate committee members, who presumably will have to address a constitutional defect.

Legislation seeks incentives for more research on incurable diseases

A bill advanced by a southwest Ohio lawmaker that proposes a different tack for incentivizing medical research relating to incurable diseases secured a first hearing before House Health Committee members in recent weeks.

Man engaged in unauthorized practice of law

The Ohio Supreme Court recently decided that a Sidney man engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when he told a debt collector for the Ohio attorney general that he was the “authorized representative” of another person and demanded the collector pay his client $100,000.

Give outdoor enthusiasts the gift of the great outdoors

As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season continues in December, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has several opportunities to make gift giving a little easier this year. Why not give the gift of the great outdoors? Consider giving a gift that will encourage family members and friends to spend time outside and enjoy the beauty and fun that nature in Ohio has to offer!

Former Broadview Heights man sentenced to nearly six years in prison for defrauding Cuyahoga Heights School District out of $2.6 million

A former Broadview Heights man was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the Cuyahoga Heights School District out of millions of dollars, law enforcement officials said.

Supreme Court of Ohio issues suspensions to three attorneys

Three Ohio attorneys received partially stayed suspensions from the Ohio Supreme Court recently that suspend their law practice for six months.

31 victims of attorney theft reimbursed nearly $200,000

Nearly $200,000 was awarded to 31 victims of attorney theft, following a vote of the Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection on Dec. 1. The compensation was in response to claims made against seven former or suspended attorneys who were found to have misappropriated client funds.

New digital resource launched for preschool learning

Ohio’s parents and educators have a new resource to help little learners ages 3-5 prepare for school and their futures with the INFOhio Early Learning Portal. The easy-to-navigate site contains more than 50 websites and apps chosen and evaluated by educators and librarians with expertise in early learning and literacy.

Two arrested and charged after ordering fentanyl from China

Two men were arrested and charged with attempted possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, law enforcement officials said.