In one of his first acts as a state Senator, Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) has introduced legislation that would require athletic coaches and directors at public and private schools and universities to report incidents of child abuse.
Ebbin’s bill is SB 265 — an amendment to an existing Virginia law that requires “any teacher or other person employed in a public or private school, kindergarten or nursery school” to report any suspected incident of child abuse or neglect within 72 hours, or face fines. SB 265 would amend the law to apply to “any teacher, athletic coach or director, or other person employed in a public or private school, kindergarten or nursery school, or institution of higher education.”
The bill’s introduction comes just two months after the Penn State sex abuse scandal rocked the world of college athletics.
“Senator Ebbin is very concerned about the abuses at Penn State and felt that we needed to ensure that nothing like that ever happened in Virginia,” Ebbin spokesman Donald Moss told ARLnow.com. “The bill will require that reporting of suspected child abuse be mandatory both by those in athletics and anyone employed by an institute of higher learning, which is change to current Virginia code that everyone will agree is all the more necessary in a post Penn State world.”
SB 265 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services, which is scheduled to meet on Friday morning.