Archive for May, 2008

LET ME CLARIFY PREVIOUS BLOG REGARDING CHILD SEX ABUSE BILL

May 11, 2008

This is somewhat confusing (at least to me).  HB 29 would make all entities which are responsible in any way at all for sexual abuse (like, for instance, the Diocese Of Wilmington, or an employer, etc. etc.), are liable to be sued for such abuse.

The problem is, that as the law stands now, ALL ENTITIES ARE NOT INCLUDED.  Guess which entity is NOT included?  That’s right, as the law states now, THE STATE ITSELF CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AS OTHERS ARE.  Just like the STATE GOVERNMENT IS NOT A PUBLIC BODY under law, so also, THE STATE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR IT’S EMPLOYEES WHO ARE GUILTY OF SEX ABUSE.  Once again, the State Legislature has exonerated itself from any blame….not matter how guilty they may be.

So; State Rep. Greg Lavelle introduced HB 342, which makes the already-passed House Bill 29 APPLICABLE TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT.   In other words, once again the State has taken itself out of the picture as far as being responsible for any misdeeds; even serious misdeeds like child sex abuse.

This is especially important RIGHT NOW, given the recent allegation that a school principal (Dana Goodman of Sussex Central High School), is “accused” for having been sexually abusing a teenage student for a long period of time. 

RIGHT NOW THE LAW SAYS THE STATE HAS NO CULPABILITY IN THIS MATTER, EVEN IF MR. GOODMAN WERE TO BE FOUND GUILTY.

State Rep. Greg Lavelle’s bill HB 342 would change that. 

SO, THE WAY YOU GET TO PATICIPATE IS TO CALL, WRITE, OR EMAIL YOUR STATE SENATOR AND URGE (NO, NOT URGE, MAKE HIM OR HER THEM VOTE FOR BILL 342 WHICH MAKES HB 29 INCLUDE THE STATE GOVERNMENT AS BEING HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY NEGLECT THEY MAY HAVE COMMITTED IN THE MATTER OF A STATE EMPLOYEE SEXUALLY ABUSING CHILDREN…..

THIS IS IMPORTANT, FOLKS….IT TIME TO TAKE REAL ACTION.  After all, if this concept catches on, we may actually get to force the State Legislature to accepting the reakity that it too is a PUBLIC BODY . A bill introduced by State Senator Karen Peterson would make it a law that the State Legislature would admit to being a Public Body, and therefore, be just as OPENLY responsible as all other public bodies are….CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATORS ABOUT BOTH THOSE BILLS:  Peterson’s bill on open government and Greg Lavelle’s bills 29 and 342…..ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL

 School

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STATE REP. GREG LAVELLE HAS THE PLAN TO HELP PREVENT CHILD MOLESTATION

May 3, 2008

We all know that both STATE SENATOR KAREN PETERSON AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE GREG LAVELLE have done excellent workdealing with the child sex abuse issue, forcing all segments of  our Delaware community to face responsibility regarding the child sex abuse laws.  They should be congratulated.  Now it’s time to go the next step; making state government also accept responsibility.  HB 29 does that; but it’s lingering in the Senate.

I’ve been spouting off about the need to devise legislation to actually help  PREVENT CHILD SEX ABUSE as much as possible.  I thought that it could be accomplished by having employers, supervisors and all types of people in authority, mandated to include credible allegations against employees in their personnel files, which would bepassed along to furture employers.  The case of Racel Holt who raped a child 27 times is a case in point.  Since she was told by her former school principal to stop being  “too friendly” with little boys , and reportedly was told not to take children to her home.  Those incidents were passed on the Claymont Elementary, where she went to teach and rapped a child 27 times.   I presumed that type law I promosted would have prevented that crime.  I was incorrect, after speaking with Karen Peterson.

Karen Peterson talked me out of my overly simplistic approach.  She remined me that the words “credible allegations” would be a  problem. Also, right of confidentiality without actual proof would be another obstacle.  In short, my suggestion, though well intentioned, was no worable.

I recently had a conversation with State Rep. Greg Lavelle, and frankly the best legislation to prevent child sex abuse already exists.  It’s Lavelle’s House Bill 29.  That bill calls for the State, as well as all other entities like the Diocese of Wilmington, for example would also be liable to lawsuits and every other aspect of the child sex abuse law. 

IF THE STATE IS INCLUDED IN HAVING TO ANSWER FOR PROVEN CASES OF CHILD SEX ABUSE, AND OPEN TO LAWSUITS, ETC., IT’S CERTAIN THAT THEY WOULD CREATE AND ENFORCE PREVENTION POLICIES AND REGULATIONS; BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE A GREATER STAKE IN THE ISSUE….SELF PROTECTION.

FOR YEARS WE HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT THE STATE  LEGISLATURE  SHOULD ACCEPT BEING A  “PUBLIC BODY”, RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL RULES REQUIRED OF PUBLIC BODIES THEN  WHY SHOULD WE EXCLUDE THE STATE FROM HAVING TO  BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD SEX ABUSE PREVENTION?  If child sex abuse laws pertain to all other groups in Delaware, then the State should also be responsible and liable in sex abuse issues.  If that was to be done, then school superintendents would be certain to initiate a sex sex abuse prevention program. 

How about a mandated satewide school policy that requires every school system employee who has reason to be dealing with students after school hours or on weekends,  MUST NOTIFY THE PRINCIPAL AND GET PERMISSION FOR THE ACTIVITY AND GIVE THE REASONS FOR THE ACTIVITY.  Of course, some activities like coaching, etc, would get a blanket permission at the beginning of the school year.  If dedicated teachers want to provide special tutoring help for students, and/or take students to some activity, after school, and even on weekends, that is fine…..BUT SPECIAL PERMISSION MUST BE REQUESTED, EXPLAINED AND GRANTED BY THE  PRINCIPAL,  OR BY A SCHOOL OFFICIAL APPOINTED BY THE PRINCIPAL.

Why would this be a preventive measure?  People who are experts in this field, and who know the techniques, and the MO  of child sex offenders, tell us that stealth, and secrecy are important to their sex abuse activities.  If there were a mandatory policy in place that any violation of the permission requirement would mean automatic dismissal for  the school employee involved; the vast majority of child abusers would be scared off.  Such incidents would be greatedly reduced, and perhaps eradicated.  The policy would be presented in writing t  all employees, and by in-house training for all employees.   The policy would be explained to all students and to all parents in the form of a written guide booklet.  This would work.

GREG LAVELLE’S BILL, HB 29 IS PRESENTLY RESIDING IN THAT HUGE DESK DRAW OF THURMAN ADAMS, WHO ELSE.    It passed the house, and IT WILL ONLY PASS THE SENATE IF YOU, YOU THE PEOPLE WHO VOTE, YOU THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PREVENTING CHILD SEX ABUSE, FORCE IT OUT OF THAT DESK DRAW BY DEMANDING THAT YOUR SENATORS DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE. Peterson and Lavelle have done a great job with making every other segment of society deal with the child sex abuse problem; NOW HELP THEM FINISH THE JOB BY ALSO MAKING THE STATE JUST AS RESPONSIBLE AS THE REST OF US…….REMEMBER, IT”S NOT GOING TO  HAPPEN, UNLESS YOU MAKE THAT CONTACT WITH YOUR STATE SENATOR, AND DEMAND IT.