Delegate introduces bills to require reporting in abuse cases
State Del. Bob Marshall has introduced bills adding coaches or athletic directors of private sports teams (HB 3) and institutions of higher learning (HB 4) to the list of those who are required to report child sexual abuse, and other similar abuse, to local authorities.
“The indifference and inaction of coaches at the University of Pennsylvania in the face of observed sexual abuse of young boys over a period of year is disgusting beyond description. Most people were shocked to learn that the Pennsylvania law was unclear on the duty imposed on coaches in such situations. Pennsylvania is toughening its state laws, and Virginia needs to do the same,” Marshall said.
The scandal that has brought this issue to light, actually reported at Penn State, involved a former prominent assistant football coach whose alleged crimes appear to have been covered up or at the least swept under the rug by university officials.
“These bills are needed because victims of sexual abuse, especially young boys, tend to keep such abuse to themselves,” Marshall said.
“If coaches with whom we entrust our children refuse to do the right thing on their own by attempting to stop, or at least report, abuse when they see it, then Virginia needs to impose that duty on them. Silence and inaction in the face of such evil is morally unacceptable and ought to be legally unacceptable.” Marshall said.