State of Washington
65th Legislature
2017 Regular Session
By Representatives McCabe, Orwall, Griffey, Caldier, Senn, Dent, Gregerson, Smith, Kraft, Doglio, and Kagi
Read first time 01/23/17. Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to a curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of students; adding a new section to chapter 28A.230 RCW; creating new sections; and providing an expiration date.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  (1) The legislature recognizes that every child should experience emotional and physical development that is free from abuse and neglect. In 2015, Washington child protective services received reports screened in for investigation that alleged the sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, or both, of two thousand six hundred three children. Further, the legislature finds that most sexual assaults are unreported. The legislature also finds that a clear relationship exists between youth victimization and mental health problems and delinquent behavior.
(2) The legislature finds that twenty-six states have enacted Erin's laws. Erin's laws, named in honor of a childhood sexual assault survivor, are intended to help children, teachers, and parents identify sexual abuse, and to provide assistance, referral, or resource information for children and families who are victims of child sexual abuse. The legislation adopted in these states requires the study or development of age-appropriate child sexual abuse identification and prevention.
(3) The legislature finds that the federal every student succeeds act, P.L. 114-95, as signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015, provides federal funding that can be used for the implementation of programs established in accordance with Erin's laws.
(4) The legislature, therefore, intends to adopt an Erin's law in order to protect the children of Washington, one of the state's most vulnerable populations.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  (1)(a) The Erin's law legislative task force is established for the purpose of adopting a model curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in the state of Washington. The task force includes:
(i) One member from each of the two largest caucuses of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;
(ii) One member from each of the two largest caucuses of the senate, appointed by the leaders of the two largest caucuses of the senate;
(iii) The superintendent of public instruction or the superintendent's designee;
(iv) The chair of the state board of education or the chair's designee;
(v) The director of the department of early learning or the director's designee;
(vi) The attorney general or the attorney general's designee;
(vii) One representative of a state association of principals;
(viii) One teacher selected by the largest union of teachers in the state;
(ix) One teacher selected by the office of the superintendent of public instruction;
(x) One curriculum development expert selected by the office of the superintendent of public instruction;
(xi) One representative of a state association of school counselors;
(xii) One victim advocate representing sexual assault victims; and
(xiii) Two survivors of sexual assault.
(b) Subject to approval by a majority of the legislative members on the task force, the task force may invite up to two additional persons to serve on the task force. Persons serving in accordance with this subsection (1)(b) must have specific expertise that is necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
(c) All members of the task force are voting members.
(2) The task force must choose its cochairs from among its legislative membership. The member from the minority caucus of the house of representatives shall convene the initial meeting of the task force.
(3) The task force shall:
(a) Adopt a model curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and report its findings and recommendations to the governor, the superintendent of public instruction, and the appropriate committees of the house of representatives and the senate by December 1, 2017. The model curriculum, which may be developed in whole or part by the task force or selected from existing curricula, must:
(i) Be evidence-based;
(ii) Be age-appropriate and culturally sensitive;
(iii) Include a professional training component for administrators, teachers, and other school staff on talking to students about child sexual abuse prevention, the effects of sexual abuse on children, handling disclosures, and mandatory reporting;
(iv) Include a component that encourages parental involvement in child sexual abuse prevention; and
(v) Allow school districts the flexibility to determine when and how the curriculum is offered to students; and
(b) Identify funding sources that may be used by school districts choosing to implement a curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of students that complies with (a)(i) through (iv) of this subsection.
(4) Staff support for the task force must be provided by senate committee services and the house of representatives office of program research.
(5) Legislative members of the task force are reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 44.04.120. Nonlegislative members are not entitled to be reimbursed for travel expenses if they are elected officials or are participating on behalf of an employer, governmental entity, or other organization. Any reimbursement for other nonlegislative members is subject to chapter 43.03 RCW.
(6) The expenses of the task force must be paid jointly by the senate and the house of representatives. Task force expenditures are subject to approval by the senate facilities and operations committee and the house of representatives executive rules committee, or their successor committees.
(7) This section expires January 31, 2018.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 28A.230 RCW to read as follows:
The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall make the model curriculum adopted under section 2, chapter . . ., Laws of 2017 (section 2 of this act) available on its web site.
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