Georgia legislation proposes sex abuse education starting in kindergarten



Georgia’s children need to know what to do if they are being sexually abused.

That’s the thinking behind House Bill 762, which mandates annual sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education for public school students in kindergarten through their freshman year of high school.

VIDEO: A predator brought to justice

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Wes Cantrell, R-Woodstock, said at subcommittee hearing of the Georgia House Education and Youth Committee Thursday that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused, usually by a relative or a family friend. And they don’t know whom to turn to.

“They go through years enduring something they should not have to endure,” said Cantrell, who acknowledged that teachers may need training to address this sensitive topic in an age-appropriate way. “There’re probably a lot of teachers out there who are going to say, ‘Whoa, I need help with this,’” he said. But 31 states states already mandate such education for students.

In an interview, Cantrell said he was motivated by several factors. He knows a fellow lawmaker whose grandchild was abused. And he was moved by the trial of serial child molester Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor, especially by testimony that the parents of one girl didn’t believe her when she told them what he’d done to her.

“Parents need to be educated too,” Cantrell said, “but I don’t know how to mandate parents.”

The subcommittee voted to pass the bill on to the full House education committee for further consideration.

Bookmark myAJC.com/education, the subscriber website of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for in-depth reporting on education...

 

Related:

...How a Georgia case, law paved way for USA Gymnastics doctor’s downfall

 

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Ty Tagami keeps you updated on the latest happenings in K-12 education issues affecting Georgia. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in state and local education. Subscribe to myAJC.com.

 

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Legislature

Georgia House committee approves HOPE scholarship eligibility change
Georgia House committee approves HOPE scholarship eligibility change

A Georgia House of Representatives committee voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a bill that would extend student eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship from seven to 15 years. Rep. Rick WIlliams, R-Milledgeville, the main sponsor of House Bill 928, said the extension is needed to help students who had to temporarily end their academic careers...
DeKalb: Greenhaven cityhood bill remains a long shot
DeKalb: Greenhaven cityhood bill remains a long shot

The bill that would authorize a referendum on establishing the city of Greenhaven still hasn’t received a hearing this legislative session, and time is running out. If the legislation is not approved, it would make the fourth consecutive year that the cityhood measure has stalled at the General Assembly. Rep. Ed Rynders, an Albany Republican...
Georgia Legislature Today: Gun control push comes to the Capitol
Georgia Legislature Today: Gun control push comes to the Capitol

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Wednesday, Day 24 of the 2018 legislative session: Gun control rally: Hundreds of gun control advocates plan to descend on the Georgia Capitol on Wednesday in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting in Parkland, Fla. The event, organized by Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun...
Atlanta transit bills headed for votes this week
Atlanta transit bills headed for votes this week

Two bills that could reshape mass transit in metro Atlanta are headed for key votes in the General Assembly this week. The Senate Transportation Committee today will take up Senate Bill 386, which would create a new board to oversee transit planning and construction in a 13-county region. The House Transportation Committee is expected to...
Georgia senate committee removes fines, explusions from campus speech bill
Georgia senate committee removes fines, explusions from campus speech bill

The Georgia senate’s higher education committee voted Tuesday to remove provisions from a bill that would impose fines and penalties as severe as expulsion for student protesters who repeatedly stop people from speaking on Georgia's public college campuses. Senate Bill 339 would include an amendment that would have the University System...
More Stories