|Posted:||November 27, 2019 12:40 PM|
|From:||Representative Tina M. Davis|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Older Student Protection|
|In Pennsylvania, mandated reporters such as teachers are required to report suspected child abuse to a dedicated hotline at the Department of Human Services, which triggers an investigation. When the child turns 18 years of age, teachers and other school employees can no longer use ChildLine to report suspected abuse of an older student. Under Pennsylvania law, a student may attend high school up until age 21 if necessary. This creates a gap that is exacerbated by the tendency of older students still in high school to have learning or other disabilities and therefore may not be able to convey abuse to caregivers.
In an effort to close this gap in protective services, my proposal would require school employees to become mandated reporters under the Adult Protective Services Act. This measure would ensure that school teachers, administrators, and other employees are able to report any suspected cases of abuse to ChildLine for students 18 years of age and older. It is time we take action to protect this at-risk population of older students in every school district of this Commonwealth.
As stewards of public safety, I am requesting your support of important legislation that addresses a gap in protective services. Your consideration is greatly appreciated.