Erin’s Law is named after childhood sexual assault survivor and activist Erin Merryn, who is the founder of Erin’s Law, a non-profit social welfare organization. After Erin introduced legislation in her home state of Illinois, the bill was named “Erin’s Law” after her by legislators and it has caught on nationwide. Erin’s Law requires all public schools in each state to implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program which teaches:
- Students in grades PK-12 grades age-appropriate techniques to recognize child sexual abuse and tell a trusted adult;
- School personnel all about child sexual abuse;
- Parents & guardians the warning signs of child abuse, plus needed assistance, referral or resource information to support sexually abused children and their families.
Indiana was the second state in the nation to pass legislation. When passed in 2012, the law did a few things…
1) required the IDOE to identify or develop research and evidence-based model educational materials on child abuse and child sexual abuse; and a model for child abuse and child sexual abuse response policies and reporting procedures. This was completed by July 1, 2013.
2) schools who choose to use the developed materials have to inform parents in writing and post on their website that the parent may examine the materials before they are taught and decide if the child will be instructed with the model educational materials, in which case the parent shall notify the school in writing or electronically.
**It is important to note that the IDOE chose to identify (rather than develop) evidence-based educational materials and programs. However, corporations are encouraged to consider policies regarding informing parents of any child abuse education and the permission or opt-out process to align with the legislation.
3) schools are to implement child abuse and child sexual abuse education programs in grades 2-5 and implement response and reporting policies
UPDATE: During the 2017 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed SEA 355 and SEA 447, which require the IDOE to provide materials and guidelines by July 1, 2018. Additionally, the new legislation expands the grade levels for child abuse and child sexual abuse education in schools to Kindergarten through grade 12 (previously the law required education in grades 2-5). Finally, school corporation, charter school and accredited nonpublic school employees who have direct, ongoing contact with children are required to attend or participate in training on child abuse and neglect at least once every two years.
- From Counselor Talk, May 2018: The couple responses I received about what curriculum elementary schools are using to meet the requirements for the sexual abuse education law were:
-Second Step child abuse kit which was $200
-Safer smart kids which I do not know the cost of
- What I have learned
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