|Posted:||March 17, 2017 10:54 AM|
|From:||Representative Thomas P. Murt|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Requiring Schools to Display Posters Providing the Statewide Toll-Fee Hotline for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect|
|I soon will introduce legislation requiring all public and non-public schools in the Commonwealth that enroll students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade to publicly display at each school campus a poster that contains the statewide toll-free number for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect.
The poster shall be 11x17 inches or larger and of a uniform design approved by the state Department of Human Services and by the state Department of Education. The poster shall be displayed in a high-traffic, public area of the school that is readily accessible to and widely used by students.
Pennsylvania’s statewide toll-free hotline number to report suspected child abuse or neglect, known as Childline (1-800-932-0313), shall be printed in bold print. The poster also shall include the address of the DHS website that provides information and resources related to child protection (www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov).
Posting this critical information in schools would let students know that they have somewhere to turn if they need to report abuse or neglect that they’ve suffered or if they suspect another child is being abused or neglected. Such a poster also reinforces to students the fact that abuse should be reported and that the school supports them.
Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming already have enacted similar legislation. Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Washington have introduced the legislation this session.
Texas was the first state to require schools to post this information. The Texas Department of Family Protective Services reported that after Texas schools were required to post the 1-800 child abuse hotline number, where students would view it on a daily basis, they received 19,562 calls from schools the first two years the posters were in place.
I am proud to sponsor a proposal that will empower children who may be victims of abuse and will raise public awareness about child abuse. I hope you will support my legislation and join me in my efforts to protect Pennsylvania’s children.
Introduced as HB1232