Bill aims to put sexual abuse education in public schools
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
When it comes to sexual abuse and children, Mississippi lawmakers will soon be making a decision on how to combat the problem. It's known as "Erin's Law," and has already been adopted in a handful of other states.
Now, Democratic representative Tom Miles says it's time for Mississippi to take action.
"One out of four girls and one out of six boys are sexually abused before the fifth grade and ninety percent of those are cause by people they know," said Miles.
The bill is set to put age appropriate education in public schools. It'll teach young children about what sexual abuse is and who to report it to. It'll also designate one person in each school children should go to when sexual abuse happens.
"We believe by implementing Erin's Law, by protecting these children from these sexual predators, this will be one of the ways that we can make Mississippi one of the safest states in the nation," said Rep. Miles of Forest.
While Miles will be introducing the bill in the house, the same bill will be brought up in the senate by republican senator Nancy Collins.
"We have vulnerable children and children are our most precious resource, that do not understand the difference between a safe touch and an unsafe touch," said Sen. Collins of Tupelo.
The bill would include an opt out option for parents who don't want their child to be a part of the instruction. Even with that option Collins and Miles say the bill would have preventable and lasting impacts on young kids.
"We just think it's one way of taking care of our children," said Collins.
"It let's the kids know that they can tell someone when they have a problem. The next thing it does is we're hoping it will be used as a deterrent from sexual predators messing with these innocent children," said Miles.
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