Maloney Child Protection Bill Approved by House Panel

HARRISBURG – On Tuesday June 11th, Members of the House Children and Youth Committee unanimously approved advancing Rep. Dave Maloney’s (R-Pike Twp) child protection legislation to the full House for consideration.

House Bill 434 is legislation which Maloney developed from concerns he has had for years about the different legal standard between teachers and other professionals in the requirements to alert police to potential child abuse. The recent Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal has highlighted the need for such legislation.

“This bill would apply the same standards for reporting suspected child abuse to school employees as those that exist for other employees of other workplaces,” Maloney said. “So, when a school employee suspects another school employee of abusing a student, the standard for substantiating abuse, the reporting requirements and procedures, and the investigative response is the same as it is elsewhere.”

Coincidentally, the Child Protection Task Force the General Assembly created last year to review Pennsylvania’s child protection laws has recommended just such a law to prevent the lack of reporting abuse that occurred at Penn State University when Sandusky was an assistant football coach there. To date, the House has passed and sent to the Senate 10 other pieces of legislation based on the Task Force’s recommendations.

“As a member of the Children and Youth Committee, I am very proud of the fact that the House has taken the lead in addressing the many problems with our child safety statutes that became apparent when the Sandusky case went to trial, and so I am hopeful the House will soon take up this legislation and move it to the Senate,” Maloney said. “We need to fix the gaps in our laws that leave our children vulnerable to the predators which, sadly, continue to exist in our society.”