senate Bill S6182

2011-2012 Legislative Session

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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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Apr 30, 2012 referred to education
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Apr 25, 2012 ordered to third reading cal.561
reported and committed to rules
Jan 11, 2012 referred to education

Votes

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Apr 25, 2012 - Education committee Vote

S6182
17
1
committee
17
Aye
1
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Education committee vote details

Apr 25, 2012 - Rules committee Vote

S6182
21
1
committee
21
Aye
1
Nay
2
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show Rules committee vote details

Co-Sponsors

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S6182 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8993
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง803-a, Ed L

S6182 - Bill Texts

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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 NUMBER:S6182

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:

None. This is new legislation in New York State.

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 immediately, provided, however, that the
amendments to subdivision 1 of section 803-a of the education law,
made by section 3 of this act, shall take effect July 1, 2013.

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

                                  6182

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 11, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. KLEIN, VALESKY, SAVINO, CARLUCCI -- read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed 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:
  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-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13693-02-2

S. 6182                             2

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 immediately, provided, however, that
the amendments to subdivision 1 of section 803-a of the  education  law,
made by section three of this act, shall take effect July 1, 2013.

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