These days, when people talk about school safety they’re often talking about high-profile major news events such as school shooters, however, NC House Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) is working to enhance another aspect of school safety: keeping kids in society free of child sexual abuse, physical abuse and a range of related threats that include human trafficking.
This week, Hardister added – and got the House to pass – an amendment to House Bill 37 – a bill that extends the statute of limitations on prosecuting child sex abuse cases. He said that addition will strengthen the bill and greatly improve the ability of school system employees to address issues of this type.
Hardister’s amendment, which was unanimously approved in the NC House as an addition to the existing bill, requires that all school personnel obtain training to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse and human trafficking.
According to Hardister, having all school employees well versed in detecting the child sexual abuse and other abuse should go a long way toward helping discover those cases where kids are being mistreated.
“We need to make sure we are doing all we can to keep children safe,” Hardister said this week.
Hardister added that, if the bill becomes law, all school employees would get basic training in identifying warning signs.
“Every other year, for two hours, school personnel would have to undergo training that will help them identify the signs of sexual abuse and human trafficking,” he said.
According to Hardister, currently a good deal of child abuse goes unnoticed because many of those school employees who interact with the children day in and day out aren’t trained to look for the warning signs.
Hardister said he’s optimistic the bill with the newly added amendment will become a law.