In the wake of the ongoing sex abuse scandals at Penn State and Syracuse, politicians around the country have been trying to figure out how to cover themselves and make it easier to punish those who don't report pedophiles working in youth sports situations. Call the resulting legislation JoePa laws if you want, the latest to trot one out is no less than our very own governor, Andrew Cuomo. Today his office proposed a new bill that would make coaches at high schools and universities in New York mandatory reporters of child sex abuse.
Currently there are no requirements for college employees to report sex abuse, and and at high schools, while many employees are subject to mandatory reporting requirements, coaches are not. This bill would change that because, while we all would like to believe that anyone who witnessed a child being sexually abused would report it immediately, it turns out people don't always do the right thing.
"Parents need to be sure that their children are safe in programs and activities that are organized by and at colleges," Cuomo said in a release today. "This legislation will ensure that those who harm our children are reported as quickly as possible to law enforcement."
If passed the bill won't necessarily prevent any sexual abuse from occuring, but it would theoretically help stop it sooner—and just as importantly allow for greater punishments of those who don't report it.