PA House OKs school exploitation-awareness bill

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 7, 2013 4:45 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A bill to require exploitation-awareness programs in Pennsylvania public schools has been approved by the state House of Representatives. 

The bill sponsored by Rep. Mauree Gingrich, a Lebanon County Republican, was approved 177-18 and sent to the Senate for consideration.

The bill would amend the Public School Code to require schools to establish programs to help children in kindergarten through eighth grade recognize and avoid exploitation, such as sexual abuse and abduction.

School principals would be required to notify parents about the program. Parents could withdraw their children from the program by signing an "opt out" form.

Democrats sought to use a parliamentary move to amend the bill to include privately operated charter and cyber schools, but it failed by a five-vote margin.

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