Local state senators back bill to fight child abuse

Beacon Hill Roll Call records the votes of local senators on roll calls from prior legislative sessions. There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week.

CHILD EXPLOITATION (S 2048)

Senate 37-0, approved an amendment providing that the state establish age-appropriate guidelines for child exploitation awareness education for students in grades 2 and above. The program would define child exploitation, recognize types of it and create awareness of warning signs of child exploitation, child abduction and child sexual abuse.

Amendment supporters said it would educate children on the warning signs of child sexual abuse so they can be better prepared to defend themselves.

(A “Yes” vote is for the amendment.)

Sen. Richard Ross, R-Wrentham Yes

Sen. James Timilty, D-Walpole Yes

CERTIFY COMPANIES THAT PROVIDE

SEXUAL HEALTH EDUCATION (S 2048)

Senate 9-28, rejected an amendment that would require companies that provide public schools with sexual health and child exploitation education to be certified by the state annually online or in a classroom.

Amendment supporters said that without this requirement, schools would be allowed to contract with non-certified entities. They noted the amendment would help ensure the education information provided is accurate and reliable.

Amendment opponents offered no arguments.

(A “Yes” vote is for requiring certification. A “No” vote is against it.)

Ross Yes

Timilty Yes

PARENTS “OPT IN”

RATHER THAN “OPT OUT” (S 2048)

Senate 9-29, rejected an amendment that would change a provision in the current bill that requires parents who don’t want their children to take a sex education course to “opt out” of the course by informing the school of that request. The amendment would replace the “opt out” provision with an “opt in” one that enrolls the student in a sex education class only if the parent gives consent.

Amendment supporters said the default should be that no student is signed up for the course unless the parent gives permission. They noted that sex education is a very sensitive and controversial topic that should not start off with the assumption that everyone is required to take the course.

Amendment opponents said the amendment will result in many students not receiving important information that will keep them safe. They noted that teen pregnancy and STD rates are too high and would be reduced by this education.

Source: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/beacon_hill_roll_call/local-state-senators-back-bill-to-fight-child-abuse/article_8130ee9a-c1d9-5a88-8203-d9fffc1f5cf5.html