In wake of the child sexual assault allegations against former Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky that have shocked the nation, lawmakers across the U.S. are moving quickly to tighten up rules on who must report the sexual abuse of a child. State legislatures are likely going to debate whether new laws are needed to shore up vague guidelines and policies regarding child safety on campus. As the law currently stands, Pennsylvania educators aware of child abuse are merely required to report it to their workplace superiors.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, stated:
“The assistant coach who in 2002 witnessed former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly abusing a child met the minimum obligation of reporting it up to head coach Joe Paterno, but the assistant did not, in my opinion, meet a moral obligation.”
Corbett also mentioned that within the next few weeks, state lawmakers would introduce bills to explicitly outline educators’ responsibilities if they witness or suspect child abuse.
Iowa, Maryland and New York are also considering tougher laws regarding the reporting of child abuse.