NJ To Consider Child Sex Abuse Classes In Schools [AUDIO]
Its sentencing day for former Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty in June of 45 counts of child sex abuse.
In the aftermath of that case, Pennsylvania legislators are considering a bill that would bring child sex abuse classes into the school classroom. Will it be something that New Jersey schools follow?
Pennsylvania lawmakers are discussing a measure that would allow the Department of Education to create a curriculum that would allow schools to teach kids in kindergarten through eighth grade about child sex abuse.
New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Atlantic) says while it would be beneficial, it should not be mandated.
"Should we make sure that our teachers are aware, absolutely...should we make sure that those that are in positions of authority are aware, without question...but I don't think that we need to add another course into the classroom, something that could take away from math and science classes where our kids need to do better."
Van Drew says he's not opposed to the idea, but teachers also need to work with students to foster relationships.
"There needs to be trust between students, teachers, administrators that if the student has a problem they feel comfortable talking to someone in higher authority about it. No curriculum in my opinion would have changed what has happened in some of the churches across the country, nor would it have changed what has happened at Penn State."
He said even if the bill was in place and the curriculum was enacted in the schools, you can't teach common sense.
"The reality is here that common sense should tell you that if you see a young man in a shower with a coach, you don't need a course to tell you that's wrong, you don't need curriculum to tell you that's not right."
No word if any state legislator would sponsor the bill.
"There is always discussions, but sometimes politicians overreact to things in the media and so its important to calm down and think about what's the best approach before you introduce legislation."
Last month, Florida was the first state in the nation to have child sex abuse awareness classes.