“We have a real problem of chronic child abusers moving from school to school when new allegations arise,” said Pennacchio. “This process of ‘passing the trash’ teachers from one district to another without sharing suspected sexual misconduct is sickening. This insidious silence cannot be allowed to continue. I’m grateful that Governor-elect Murphy and Chairwoman Ruiz have joined us in the belief that a teacher who molests a child in one classroom should not have the opportunity to teach in another. I hope we can work together to protect young children in New Jersey classrooms.”
“Organizations like Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey and the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault have said that our legislation will help to prevent offenders from recycling through the system from school to school,” added Webber. “Enacting these necessary protections shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We welcome the support of Governor-elect Murphy, Chairwoman Ruiz, and any legislator of either party who wants to join us in keeping serial sexual abusers out of our schools.”
The extent of the problem was highlighted in a recent investigation by NJ Advance Media.
Pennacchio and Webber’s legislation, S-2917/A-4442, would tighten-up reporting and disclosure requirements between and among education employers so that chronic child abusers will not escape detection or get recycled through the system to prey again on other children at different schools. The legislation would remedy the problem of insidious silence that has permitted the migration of child predators between and among schools and our children.
Governor-elect Phil Murphy has expressed a willingness to consider the legislation. Similarly, Senator Teresa Ruiz, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, has committed to holding a hearing on the legislation in the upcoming legislative session that begins in January.