Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) introduced two bills recently, A9598 and A9600, which will require Superintendents to report all allegation of child abuse by school employees or volunteers during the transfer of accused persons between school districts, and mandate the immediate termination of any school employee or volunteer convicted of child abuse. Bill A9600 is meant to ensure that both Superintendents and hiring schools remain accountable for the safety of students, by ensuring the integrity of newly hired school employees and volunteers. Additionally, bill A9598 will tighten up provisions in the state Education which currently allow convicted child abusers to remain in school settings until a Superintendent deems them unfit for their position.
Assemblyman Hevesi drafted these pieces of legislation in response to numerous child abuse cases that have recently surfaced in numerous schools throughout New York City. In order for New York State schools to maintain their reputability, parents should feel assured of the integrity of the staff that interacts with their children everyday. These bills provide necessary accountability that has at times previously been overlooked.
“There are numerous resources that currently exist which allow youth organization employers to obtain a thorough background check on their employees,” Hevesi said. “However, until now, there hasn’t been a comprehensive resource guide distributed to these organizations. This bill helps protect our children by ensuring that youth organizations have all criminal information available when they hire an employee.”