senate Bill S2367

Enacts "Erin Merryn's law" to require provision of instruction to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse in grades kindergarten through eight

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 16 / Apr / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.293
  • 17 / Apr / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 22 / Apr / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 23 / Apr / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 23 / Apr / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 24 / Apr / 2013
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 04 / Feb / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.96
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 11 / Feb / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 29 / Apr / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 29 / Apr / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 29 / Apr / 2014
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Summary

Enacts "Erin Merryn's law" to require provision of instruction to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse in grades kindergarten through eight.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A661A
Versions:
S2367
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Assembly Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง803-a, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S6182, A8993

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2367

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to
enacting "Erin Merryn's law"

PURPOSE: Enacts "Erin Merryn's Law" to require provision of
instruction to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse in grades
kindergarten through eight.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Short title "Erin Merryn's law" Section 2. Legislative
findings and intent

Section 3. Amends section 803-a of the education law, as added by
chapter 658 of the laws of 1994 to add prevention of child sexual
abuse and exploitation to instruction students already receive in the
prevention of child abduction. The duties of the local boards of
education to select curricula and the commissioner to provide
technical assistance are unchanged.

Section 4. Effective date.

EXISTING LAW:

Section 803-a of the education law currently requires all public
school students in grades K-8 to receive instruction designed to
prevent child abduction. The law does not mandate how much time must
be allocated to the subject, or how frequently the instruction must be
given. It must, however, be given under the direct supervision of a
regular classroom teacher, even if outside speakers are used. This
requirement ensures the quality of the instruction and that the time
spent on these important lessons counts toward required classroom
time.

JUSTIFICATION: Awareness of the epidemic of child sexual abuse has
come a long way since section 803-a was enacted in 1994 and quality
school safety programs are already evolving to teach children that
abduction by strangers is not the only, or the most common, danger
they face. Like other sex crimes, most child sexual abuse is committed
by people who know their victims. Trusted acquaintances are most often
the perpetrators, followed by family members and then strangers.
Updating the language of New York's education requirement to reflect
the current understanding of both the sources and warning signs of
child predation will help ensure that more children receive practical
and age-appropriate instruction that they can incorporate into their
daily lives.

As more and more abuse victims of all ages are coming forward to share
stories of horrifying abuses, we are regularly reminded of our sacred
obligation to prepare the next generation children to meet life's
major challenges. Despite greater openness about these crimes,
feelings of shame or stigma still keep many victims and witnesses
silent. Many young people suffering abuse or exploitation are still
unaware of when and from whom to seek help. Concerned parents may not
even know about the latest techniques being used by predators to meet


and groom their victims through electronic communications, the
Internet and social media.

Expanding the required instruction under 803-a to encompass child sex
abuse and exploitation prevention will require the state education
department to make revisions to its technical advisories but it need
not require districts to devote any additional time or staffing
resources to student safety instruction. With our growing
understanding of the many dangers facing our children and the lifelong
injuries sexual abuse and exploitation can inflict, the cost of not
providing this vital safety information is simply too high.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S. 6182 - Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal. The state education department will
continue to provide technical assistance to school districts in their
development of age-appropriate curricula.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on September 1st, next
succeeding when it shall have become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2367

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced   by   Sens.   KLEIN,   ADAMS,   ADDABBO,  CARLUCCI,  HANNON,
  HASSELL-THOMPSON, LARKIN, MAZIARZ, PARKER, RANZENHOFER, SAVINO,  VALE-
  SKY  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be commit-
  ted to the Committee on Education

AN ACT to amend  the  education  law,  in  relation  to  enacting  "Erin
  Merryn's law"

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
"Erin Merryn's law".
  S  2.  Legislative  findings  and  intent.  The  legislature finds and
declares that child sexual abuse, estimated to affect up to one in  four
girls  and up to one in six boys, poses a grave threat to the health and
safety of young people, and its damaging effects can last a lifetime.
  The legislature also finds and declares that  child  sexual  exploita-
tion, including the use of children in pornography and prostitution, and
child  abduction pose a similar threat to the health and safety of young
people, and put child victims at grave risk of death  or  severe  bodily
harm.
  The  legislature  also  finds and declares that the incidence of child
sexual abuse, child sexual  exploitation  and  child  abduction  can  be
reduced  by raising awareness among young children of common dangers and
warning signs, empowering children to  better  protect  themselves  from
sexual  predators,  and  teaching  children  how to obtain any necessary
assistance or services.
  It is hereby declared to be the public policy and in the public inter-
est of this state to establish a comprehensive  program  to  provide  an
age-appropriate  course of instruction in the prevention of child abduc-
tion, child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse.
  S 3. Section 803-a of the education law, as added by  chapter  658  of
the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03100-02-3

S. 2367                             2

  S 803-a. Courses  of  study  in  prevention  of child abduction, CHILD
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.   1. All  pupils  in  grades
[K-8]  KINDERGARTEN  THROUGH  EIGHT  in  all public schools in the state
shall receive instruction designed to prevent the  abduction,  EXPLOITA-
TION  OR SEXUAL ABUSE of children. Such instruction shall be provided by
or under the direct supervision of regular classroom teachers, provided,
however, that such instruction may be  provided  by  any  other  agency,
public or private.
  2.  The  commissioner, shall provide technical assistance to assist in
the development of curricula for such courses of study  which  shall  be
age  appropriate  and  developed according to the needs and abilities of
pupils at successive grade levels in order to provide awareness  skills,
information,  self-confidence  and  support  to aid in the prevention of
child abduction, CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.
  3. For purposes of developing such courses  of  study,  the  board  of
education or trustees of every school district may establish local advi-
sory  councils  or  utilize  the school-based shared decision making and
planning committee established pursuant to regulations  of  the  commis-
sioner to make recommendations concerning the content and implementation
of  such  courses. School districts may alternatively utilize courses of
instruction developed by consortia of school district, boards of cooper-
ative educational services, other school districts or any other  agency,
public  or  private. Such advisory councils shall consist of, but not be
limited to, parents, school  trustees  and  board  members,  appropriate
school  personnel,  business  and  community  representatives,  and  law
enforcement personnel having  experience  in  the  prevention  of  child
abduction, CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.
  4.  The  board of education or trustees of every school district shall
provide appropriate training and curriculum materials  for  the  regular
teachers who provide such instruction.
  S  4.  This  act  shall  take  effect  on  the first of September next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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