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Close reporting loopholes

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Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
 

Close reporting loopholes

With Jerry Sandusky finally sentenced, we are reminded of the horrific actions of Penn State officials, who for years allegedly colluded to hide his crimes. The Pennsylvania Legislature must take steps to ensure this can't happen again by passing Senate Bill 1381, also known as the SESAME (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation) Act, which would close abuse-reporting loopholes that endanger schoolchildren.

Sponsored by Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, the SESAME Act would immediately end “passing the trash,” an all-too-common practice plaguing our education system and deliberately putting children in danger. District officials “pass the trash” by negotiating with educators who are sexual abusers, allowing them to resign with a clean record so they can move to a new school setting without attention, legal enforcement, scandal and cost. A typical offender will pass through three different schools before being stopped and can leave dozens of victims in his/her wake.

It's time to end the conspiracy of silence and enact laws that mandate the disclosure of abuse to all school districts. To that end, the Pennsylvania Legislature must pass the SESAME Act.

Terri Miller

Las Vegas, Nev.

The writer is president of the advocacy group S.E.S.A.M.E. Inc. (sesamenet.org).

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