House Education Committee Advances Child Exploitation Awareness Education Bill to House Floor, Says Clymer
HARRISBURG – The House Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks), today voted unanimously to advance legislation to the House floor that would require child sexual abuse awareness education be included in the annual health curriculum for elementary and middle school students.
“This is important legislation that will help prevent child sexual abuse before it begins by providing children with the knowledge of what child sexual abuse is, what ‘grooming’ a child is, and the importance of reporting any abuse,” said Clymer. “This is a program that has the promise of helping prevent sexual abuse from happening, or at the very least, help encourage children who are being abused to truly recognize what is happening to them and report it.”
House Bill 2318, authored by Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon), would mandate the Pennsylvania Department of Education to create an age-appropriate program to be incorporated into the annual health curriculum on child sexual abuse for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The committee held a hearing last week in which testimony was offered from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, various child sexual abuse survivors and professionals in law enforcement.
To date, four other states have passed similar bills and legislation is pending in eight other states, including Pennsylvania.
Clymer noted that the committee also unanimously passed legislation to update the state’s Public Library Code.
Senate Bill 1225, authored by Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware), would update terminology, provide greater flexibility of the state librarian and local libraries, and include a funding formula that would ensure each library receives an equal percentage increase or decrease in funding over the current year, depending on the amount of funds provided in the state budget.
“As a long-time advocate for our public library system, I am pleased to have this bill move forward in the legislative process,” said Clymer. “This legislation will help our public libraries function more efficiently and effectively and put measures in place to provide for more consistent funding.”
Both House Bill 2318 and Senate Bill 1225 now go to the floor of the state House for a vote.
State Representative Paul Clymer
145th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman