Wayne Fontana of Pittsburgh is the sponsor of the legislation, which passed the
Senate this week on a 49-0 vote.
“My legislation would help protect our kids
and ensure their safety in schools. It
does away with the separate reporting requirement for schools and mandates that
suspected child abuse be reported within 24 hours to the proper authorities for
investigation, and not just the school employees’ supervisor.”
introduced in 2005, Senator Fontana’s proposal would remove the different
reporting requirement for school employees and put them on the same level as
other mandated reporters. The senator’s measure requires that an incident be
reported directly to Childline or the police. It covers all students, from kindergarten through college.
Allegheny County lawmaker says he authored the bill after receiving a call from
an upset mother who said her son had been transported from school to an
emergency room. The child had bleeding brush burns, choke marks around his neck
and broken blood vessels in his face — all caused by a teacher. Senator Fontana says that even though the
mother, emergency room doctor and social worker all tried reporting the
incident to Childline, they were told that state law prevented investigation
because the injuries were not deemed serious enough.
Bill 31 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.