Session of 2012

No. 2012-126


SB 449




Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An act relating to the public school system, including certain provisions applicable as well to private and parochial schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the laws relating thereto," providing for child abuse recognition and reporting training.


The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:



Section 1.  The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a section to read:

Section 1205.6.  Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training.--(a)  School entities and independent contractors of school entities shall provide their employes who have direct contact with children with mandatory training on child abuse recognition and reporting. The following apply:

(1)  Training shall address, but shall not be limited to, the following topics:

(i)  Recognition of the signs of abuse and sexual misconduct and reporting requirements for suspected abuse and sexual misconduct in this Commonwealth.

(ii)  Provisions of the act of December 12, 1973 (P.L.397, No.141), known as the "Professional Educator Discipline Act," including mandatory reporting requirements.

(iii)  The school entity's policies related to reporting of suspected abuse and sexual misconduct.

(iv)  Maintenance of professional and appropriate relationships with students.

(2)  School entities and independent contractors may provide training through the Internet or other distance communications systems.

(3)  Employes shall complete a minimum of three (3) hours of training every five (5) years.

(4)  Employes required to undergo continuing professional education under section 1205.2 shall receive credit toward their continuing professional education requirements if the training program has been approved by the Department of Education in consultation with the Department of Public Welfare.

(b)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Abuse."  Conduct that falls under the purview and reporting requirements of 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child protective services) and is directed toward or against a child or student, regardless of the age of the child or student.

"Direct contact with children."  The possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children.

"School entity."  A public school, charter school, cyber charter school, private school, nonpublic school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school.

"Sexual misconduct."  Any act, including, but not limited to, any verbal, nonverbal, written or electronic communication or physical activity, directed toward or with a child or student that is designed to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the child or student. Such acts include, but are not limited to:

(1)  Sexual or romantic invitation.

(2)  Dating or soliciting dates.

(3)  Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialog.

(4)  Making sexually suggestive comments.

(5)  Self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic or erotic nature.

(6)  Any sexual, indecent, romantic or erotic contact with the child or student.


Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 180 days.


APPROVED--The 5th day of July, A.D. 2012.