Manchin, Toomey Introduce Bill to Help Protect Children in Schools
Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) today called on the Senate to take long-overdue action on their bipartisan bill to keep sexual and violent predators out of our kids’ classrooms. The Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act requires schools to perform background checks on all new and existing employees and forbids schools from hiring persons who have been convicted of certain crimes-including any violent or sexual crime against a child. It also bans schools from "passing the trash"-the practice where a school allows a known child molester to resign quietly and helps the predator find a new teaching job.
“Every child deserves to have at least one place where he or she feels safe and comfortable. For many of our kids these days, that place is at school,” said Senator Manchin. “This commonsense bill will truly help protect our kids from sexual assault predators or any individuals who inappropriately behave in our schools.”
“In 2014, more than 450 teachers and other school employees were arrested across America for sexual misconduct with children. 26 of these were in Pennsylvania. Already this year, at least 49 teachers have been arrested,” said Senator Toomey. “Every story represents a tragedy, a childhood shattered, and a family torn by grief, betrayal, and self-blame. I am grateful for the support of Sen. Manchin in our effort to protect America’s children.”
To watch video footage of the press conference, please click on the links below.
To view photos of the press conference, please click here.
The Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act closes the loopholes that led to the tragic death of 12-year-old Jeremy Bell. A school in Delaware County, Pennsylvania dismissed a teacher for sexual misconduct but, instead of acting to stop the predator, helped him land a new teaching job in West Virginia. There, that teacher eventually raped and murdered 12-year-old Jeremy Bell.
SUPPORTERS OF THE BILL:
• National Children's Alliance
• Children's Defense Fund
• National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
• American Academy of Pediatrics
• PA Partnerships for Children
• Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
• Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
• Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association Teachers
• American Federation of Teachers
• Pennsylvania School Boards Association
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