Molestation victims in schools might soon have a new law on their side, according to Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord).
Assemblywoman Bonilla’s AB 2560, which passed both houses with unanimous bipartisan support, is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for final approval before it is signed into law. The bill ensures that applicants, who submit an initial or renewal credential application, understand their responsibilities as mandated reporters.
This bill was introduced to address the recent spike in troubling cases involving child abuse in schools.
“The safety of our students should always be our number one priority,” said Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord). “It is unfathomable that children are not only being abused, but that misinterpretations of the law have allowed for it to persist.”
AB 2560 addresses the issue and improves student safety in schools by requiring all applicants who apply or renew their credential online or in paper form, to read a statement that outlines his or her duties as a mandated reporter. The applicants must attest by signature that he or she understands the obligation to report directly to law enforcement officials, and not only to school administrators of higher authority. This bill also requires that a written report of the suspected child abuse or neglect must be submitted within 36 hours of becoming aware of the incident.
“It is imperative that all school employees clearly understand their responsibilities as mandated reporters to ensure that once abuse or suspected abuse has occurred, it is stopped or prevented immediately. This bill does just that and reinforces the required steps that must be taken to increase student safety and maintain a trusting school environment.”
AB 2560 is a bill that works in tandem with AB 1432 by Assemblymember Gatto. Assemblywoman Bonilla is also a Co-Author of AB 1432, which requires training for all school employees on how to identify sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Whereas AB 1432 requires annual training, AB 2560 reaffirms the training, underlining the required duties of a mandated reporter.