August 13, 2015

Manchin, Toomey, and Child Advocates Urge Congress to Keep Ban on "Passing the Trash" in Final Education Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) continue to urge their colleagues to take the final steps necessary to ban “passing the trash”—the terrible process whereby a school helps a child molester employee obtain a new job at another school and move onto other victims.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan Toomey-Manchin measure to protect children from sexual predators in July, adding it to the Senate’s education bill reauthorizing the Elementary Secondary Education Act.

The education bill passed by the House of Representatives does not include the Toomey-Manchin ban on “passing the trash.”  Therefore, Manchin and Toomey are encouraging members of the House/Senate conference committee, who are reconciling a single education bill to be passed by both chambers, to include this important provision.

Once the Senate and the House agree to the same measure, it can be sent to the President’s desk and signed into law.

Sens. Manchin and Toomey, and five child advocacy groups, three law enforcement organizations, and two prosecutors groups, have written to members of the Senate and House, urging them to include the Toomey-Manchin provision protecting children from sexual predators in the final education bill.

The following groups also sent members of the education conference committee letters supporting the provision to ban passing the trash:

Child Advocates: 

  • National Children’s Alliance
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children    
  • S.E.S.A.M.E. (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation)    
  • Center for Children’s Justice    
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Law Enforcement: 

  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association    
  • National Association of Police Organizations    
  • National Sheriffs’ Association


  • Association of Prosecuting Attorneys    
  • National District Attorneys Association

The Toomey-Manchin letter to education conferees is below.

Dear Senators Alexander and Murray and Congressmen Kline and Rush: On July 9, the Senate acted for the first time to protect our children against child molesters infiltrating the nation’s classrooms. The Senate voted unanimously, 98 to 0, to adopt the Toomey-Manchin amendment, which bans a school from helping a sexual predator obtain a new job elsewhere. Sadly, this practice is so common that it has its own moniker—“passing the trash.”

We thank Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray for their crucial assistance and support, and we urge the conferees to include the amendment in the final bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We are joined by five child protection groups, three law enforcement groups, and two groups of prosecutors, who have submitted the attached letters. Every child deserves to be safe at school. The vast majority of school employees would never harm a child. But child molesters go where the children are. They constantly look for jobs that will give them access to and control over children. And schools fit that bill perfectly. Pedophiles are, sadly, often successful in infiltrating our schools. Last year, 459 school employees were arrested across America for sexual misconduct with children—more than one per day of the year. Since January 1 of this year, over 300 school employees have already been arrested.

Unfortunately, in some cases, a school reacts by trying to make a pedophile employee someone else’s problem and passing the employee along to another school. This must end. And the Toomey-Manchin amendment will end it.

As the attached letters explain, a ban on “passing the trash” will make a real difference in protecting children. According to one study by the Government Accountability Office, the average pedophile who works at a school abuses 73 children over a lifetime. Preventing just one pedophile from being passed along can spare dozens of children the horrors of sexual abuse. The Toomey-Manchin ban on passing the trash takes an important step toward protecting our children from sexual abuse. Accordingly, we urge the conferees to include it in the final bill.