Boston- The Massachusetts Senate Republican Caucus today succeeded in securing an amendment that will raise awareness of child abuse and exploitation in a bill that changes the state’s sexual health education law.
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) authored the legislation which directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to include among sexual health curriculum, guidelines for child exploitation awareness education for school districts.
“Sadly, experience has taught us that some in our society will put children at risk for abuse, neglect or maltreatment,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Tens of thousands of suspected child abuse reports are filed with the state each year and child safety experts confirm that raising awareness of the warning signs of exploitation can make a significant difference in keeping children safe.”
The Tarr amendment was inspired by Erin Merryn, a childhood sexual assault survivor and the namesake of Erin’s Law.
Erin’s Law requires public schools to include a prevention oriented child sexual abuse program. Tarr’s amendment will better inform school personnel about child sexual abuse, assist parents in recognizing the warning signs of child abuse, and empower children to guard against exploitation.
Following debate on the matter the Tarr amendment was adopted by the Senate by a unanimous vote of the members.
If signed into law by Governor Baker Massachusetts would move into a majority of states which have adopted it. 26 states have adopted Erin’s Law and it is currently pending in 17 others.