Senator Patrick Gallivan announced Saturday legislation to close a loophole in State Education law regarding the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting passed Senate committee on Children and Families.
Earlier this month officials called for changes to the NYS Education law that requires schools to report accusations of child abuse in an educational setting, but not in private schools.
The bill is in response to the recent reports of sexual abuse at Nichols School after an investigation launched back in June of last year.
Ten teachers at the Nichols school had improper relationships with students over several decades, according to an 85-page report released in early January.
According to Senator Gallivan, this legislation will amend the current education law by:
- Expanding the responsibility for reporting abuse allegations to include therapists, speech-language pathologists, teacher aides, school resource officers and any employee who contracts with a school to provide transportation to children.
- Requiring that allegations of abuse at private schools be reported directly to law enforcement. (applying to charter schools, state-supported and state-operated schools, Special Act School Districts, and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES).
- Requiring that all teachers and administrators employed by a private or charter school to complete two hours of training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse.
Gallivan is co-sponsoring the legislation with Senators Chris Jacobs and Michael Ranzenhofer.
It will now go to the full Senate for consideration.