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New law aims to improve educator training on preventing child abuse

Delaware Public Media

Legislation streamlining the training public school employees receive on issues like child sexual abuse, suicide prevention and bullying is now law.



The bill Gov. John Carney signed Tuesday consolidates existing laws related to those topics and others, such as youth gang detection, and teen dating violence. 


It also creates a program to coordinate the training district and charter school employees are required to receive on those issues.

The measure’s prime sponsor, State Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D - Wilmington East) says it’s a response to training demands that have become unwieldy.

“Every time something would happen, a legislator would create legislation around sexual abuse training or bullying and we began to have so many laws on our books that required teacher and employees of education to be trained," said Henry. "So we tried to streamline the process because employees were complaining about that time it takes away [from the classroom]. ”

State officials and other advocates expect the law will decrease the number of training hours by taking advantage of where trainings overlap to make them more efficient and organized.



“There are issues in the child sexual abuse training about bullying.  There are issues in the bullying training about trafficking.  There’s a lot of overlap – about suicide in the bullying training," said Patty Dailey Lewis,executive director of the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. "So, being able to have a law that lays everything out clearly in an organized fashion will help us implement the training in an organized fashion.”


The law also allows schools to have more flexibility in tailoring required training to their needs.


It passed both chambers of the General Assembly with no opposition.


Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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