The following testimony was given today, June 18th, 2013 before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding S.B. 46 or "The S.E.S.A.M.E. Act"
This article features excerpts from the testimony of S.E.S.A.M.E. President, Terri Miller as well as testimony prepared by S.E.S.A.M.E Board of Advisors member, Dr. Chester Kent.
Excerpt of testimony by Terri Miller (6/18/2013)
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"These stories are all too common, and Pennsylvania has the opportunity to lead the nation to ensure sex offending teachers no longer can get jobs in classrooms in your state, and that abusive teachers can't leave Pennsylvania and find employment with children elsewhere. Passing the Trash is a deliberate, calculated and methodical practice of protecting child predators and school systems with total disregard for child safety. Passing the S.E.S.A.M.E. Act to prohibit passing the trash is the right thing to do...
4.5 million Children are being affected by child molesters and pedophiles disguised as educators. Large numbers of our children will suffer life-threatening trauma of sexual abuse and rape. Parents lose the child they have nurtured from birth and learn to fear school personnel and the school environment. Many, far too many, of our children are being deprived an education conducive to learning and free from harassment as is their right under Title IX, of the Education Amendments of 1972. Upstanding, devoted educators are subject to undeserved speculation and suspicion when these cases come to light. School administrators, trustees and districts suffer liability, reputation and distrust by the entire community when they choose to save face above saving children. The S.E.S.A.M.E. Act must receive bipartisan support by all. Children don't care about politics. Children only care about being protected.
On behalf of S.E.S.A.M.E., I am honored and grateful to Senator Anthony Hardy Williams for making S.E.S.A.M.E the namesake of SB 46. We revere and thank you for championing this cause to end passing the trash in your great state of Pennsylvania."
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Excerpt of testimony by Dr. Chester Kent (6/18/2013)
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• “31 Incidents in South Western PA in Past 29 Months”
"Employee Sexual Misconduct/Sexual abuse is a seldom discussed, painful societal problem lurking beneath the surface of every school in Pennsylvania until media exposure of a sexual predator destroys the trust of parents in teachers and the school. ( See Attached Listing- Download the full text PDF here) Employee Sexual Misconduct/Abuse is PREVENTABLE. But schools, in general, pay lip service to prevention, are papered with policies and good intentions and are surprised, and shocked, yes shocked, when it happens in their close knit environment. Hence, there is a need for Senate Bill 46. In my experience, unfortunately, most perpetrators are not discovered BEFORE victimization but only AFTER the victims are sexually assaulted. This is the real school scandal!
Passage of SB 46 will protect children from such sexual predators at all stages of school employment. The large majority of predators commit crimes of opportunity because children are readily available. Deviants use their position and authority to bond with unsuspecting children and then turn them into pawns for sexual gratification. The small remainder are repeat offenders, truly dangerous pedophiles, like Mr. Sandusky, who researchers estimate prey on 300 plus children during their career. Today, interest groups represent every employment area in education except children.
Who speaks for them? Only the General Assembly.