Q13 Fox News Online
8:04 PM CST, March 1, 2012
The state Legislature passed and sent the governor Thursday the 'Jerry Sandusky bill' requiring some higher education employees to report suspected child abuse or neglect to authorities.
The legislation became known as the "Jerry Sandusky bill" after the former assistant coach at Penn State University who has been accused of molesting minors.
“In following the horrific media coverage of the Penn State University abuse scandal last fall, I knew right away we had to add higher education employees as mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Sen.Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.
“There are an increasing number of children on our college campuses for sports, academic camps and child care programs. It is imperative we do all we can to ensure their protection. This bill does just that and will strengthen our ability to avoid a Penn State situation here in Washington,” she said.
Kohl-Welles said the bill would make academic and athletic employees who are most likely to have contact with minors “mandatory reporters.” But not all employees would fall under the mandatory reporting requirements.
“Not every school employee is a mandatory reporter (someone who must report an incident to either law enforcement or child protective services) nor would be all higher ed employees under the bill’s provisions. It is not assumed that every custodian, cafeteria worker and clerk has the practical knowledge to be a mandatory reporter,” she said.“Rather,” she said, “academic and athletic employees who are most likely to have contact with minors will become mandatory reporters. Others will be responsible to report to designated supervisors within 48 hours."