U.S REP. GEORGE MILLER ASKED GAO TO INVESTIGATE YOUTH ATHLETIC CLUBS’ CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

Miller Releases New Report on Preventing Sexual Abuse in Schools, Calls for Hearings to Address Issue

Jan 30, 2014 Issues: Education, Other Education and Youth Issues
WASHINGTON—Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, today released a report that reviews national efforts to prevent sexual abuse of students by school personnel in public K-12 schools and called on Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) to hold hearings aimed at addressing the shortcomings of child abuse laws and regulations.

“Children have a right to be safe in schools and schools have a legal and moral obligation to fulfill that promise,” says Rep. Miller. “We must take every available and reasonable step we can to ensure that the people and schools that are entrusted with our children every day protect them from abuse. As this report shows, preventing abuse of children by school personnel remains a considerable challenge. We need to take action in the remaining months of this Congress to help protect students across the country.”

The report, titled “Federal Agencies Can Better Support State Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Abuse by School Personnel,” was requested by Rep. Miller and conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report found that while federal law prohibits sexual abuse in federally funded education programs and sets minimum reporting standards, states and school districts differ significantly on how they handle issues of background checks for potential public school employees, awareness and prevention training, employee codes of conduct, and reporting of suspected abuse.

Furthermore, GAO discovered that many schools are unaware of their roles and responsibilities when it comes to preventing abuse. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires that schools have procedures in place to protect students from sexual violence by school personnel, but local officials often do not generally apply Title IX requirements to these cases, in some cases because they do not realize that they have an obligation to do so or choose not to fulfill that obligation.

“Schools have the responsibility to prevent sexual abuse under Title IX, but too many of them do not fully understand or comply with the existing requirements, leaving kids vulnerable to abuse and harassment,” says Miller. “Protecting kids from sexual abuse in schools is not a choice; it’s the law.”

To help address the issues raised in the report, GAO calls on the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice—all of which hold some jurisdiction over cases of child sex abuse—to better collaborate and disseminate information about preventing sexual abuse to states and school districts and to better track the prevalence of sex abuse of students by school personnel. It also recommends that the Department of Education issue clearer guidance on how school districts must apply Title IX requirements to staff-to-student sexual misconduct and abuse.

Coinciding with the release of the report, which is part of an ongoing effort by Committee Democrats to address the issue of child sex abuse, Rep. Miller sent a letter to Chairman Kline seeking hearings to further explore the concerns raised by the GAO report.

“I first wrote to you in November 2011 and then again in June 2012 to request that we work together to gather our Committee members and hold hearings on a range of child sexual abuse issues,” Miller wrote. “More than two years have passed since that first request, and incidences of child sexual abuse at schools have not abated. While our bipartisan work together this past fall on House passage of critical child safety laws, including the E. Clay Shaw, Jr. Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act background check bill, were victories on many levels, we need to accomplish much more to end such abuse.”

The Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act of 2013 (H.R. 2083), which was introduced by Rep. Miller in May 2013 and passed by the House of Representatives in October 2013, would require consistent and thorough criminal history checks for all public school employees, applicants for employment, and contractors with unsupervised access to students. It would prohibit employment in public schools for any of those individuals if they have been convicted of violent or sexual felony offenses or any crime against children.

For more on the issue of student safety, click here.

To read the full GAO report, click here.

To read the full letter from Rep. Miller to Chairman Kline requesting hearings on child sex abuse, click here

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Miller asks GAO to Expand Investigation into Child Abuse Reporting Laws to Include Athletics, Extracurricular Activities

———-the following insert into the article are some answers to the current problem——-

Everyone, including Doctors, Parents, Health Care Personnel, Coaches, and the entire Athletic Community will report and Pre-Pubescent and Adolescent Children will self report Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome, not delay, once they understand Child and Youth Athlete Rights, which will be made “Crystal Clear”, under the new amended 111-320 Public Law and once it becomes Public Policy following promulgation, announcement and dissemination.

• {the Following is a Proposed Public Health Amendment to Section 3. Paragraph 2., by Athlete Safety 1st (mbmsrmd) in addition-to or in replacement-of Casey and Boxer Language. The New Language is Capitalized and a recommended in addition-to or in replacement-of S. 1877 described below. One U.S. Sen. in a personal letter reply to my request for my amendment described the Casey-Boxer Bill as to expensive.

The Athlete Safety 1st amendment is cost-conscious and inexpensive}:

(A) any recent act or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker, “INCLUDING COACH SUBSTITUTE CARETAKERS OF SCHOOL AND NON-SCHOOL SPORTS, RECREATION AND EXERCISE”, that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, or sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious harm; or

• {the Following is a Proposed Amendment S. 1877 by Senators Casey and Boxer Language Capitalized Senate Bill 1877 (S. 1877 currently in Senate Committee awaiting action}:

(B) >ANY DELIBERATE ACT<, on the part of an individual other than a parent or caretaker, that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, or sexual abuse or exploitation, or that presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child.’ --------end insert; continue reading original article about Rep Miller's request---------- Jun 18, 2013 Issues: Labor, Wages and Benefits Committee on Education and the Workforce "WASHINGTON – In light of recent reports of sex abuse of student athletes at the hands of coaches, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, today asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate youth athletic clubs’ handling of child abuse allegations. This would be part of an ongoing investigation by GAO, launched at Miller’s request last year, into the weaknesses in reporting laws and policies in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University and abuse scandals at other schools. “Recent reports about the abuse of student athletes participating in public and private swim clubs have raised a number of new concerns about whether we have adequate laws and policies in place to prevent and address such abuse,” wrote Miller. “Accordingly, I write today to supplement my July 2012 request to include information about the prevalence of abuse among student athletes and the manner in which such abuse cases are reported, investigated and resolved.” "Last year, Rep. Miller asked the GAO to investigate whether existing laws and policies adequately prevent abuse of children in schools or on school campuses. GAO has previously identified many instances of the negligent and abusive use of seclusion and restraint techniques in our nation’s schools, which in some instances resulted in the death of a child. Also, GAO has reported to the committee on disturbing practices by some schools whereby school employees with histories of sexual misconduct have been passed from one school to another where they were free to continue abusing other children. "In May, Rep. Miller focused the entire month on the safety needs of our children as a national priority. During the month, Miller introduced three pieces of legislation – the Keeping All Students Safe Act, the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act, and the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act – aimed at supporting the rights of all children to be free from abuse and neglect in specific out-of-home settings. "The full text of the letter to GAO can be found here. "The full text of the letter to GAO is below: The Honorable Gene L. Dodaro Comptroller General U.S. Government Accountability Office 441 G Street NW Washington DC 20548-0001 "Dear Mr. Dodaro: In July of last year, I asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine a number of issues concerning existing laws that seek to prevent and address the abuse of children in schools. At that time, sexual abuse scandals on the campuses of the Pennsylvania State University and the Citadel brought to light the possibility such laws specifically designed and intended to keep children safe required closer scrutiny. "Recent reports about the abuse of student athletes participating in public and private swim clubs have raised a number of new concerns about whether we have adequate laws and policies in place to prevent and address such abuse. Accordingly, I write today to supplement my July 2012 request to include information about the prevalence of abuse among student athletes and the manner in which such abuse cases are reported, investigated and resolved. "Because federal child protection laws are not specifically directed toward student athletes and their participation in athletic clubs—as well as the coaches and staff who run them—existing state laws vary in what they require when allegations of abuse arise. The reports last month about the decades-old case of sexual abuse of a child swimmer by her adult coach Rick Curl raise significant questions around who is effectively overseeing the adults with whom we entrust the care of our student athletes. "In light of the troubling facts emerging from the Rick Curl and other abuse cases, and my long-standing commitment to protect our nation’s children, I respectfully request that GAO address the following questions: 1.What is the prevalence of sexual and other abuse among student athletes participating in athletic clubs? 2.When incidences of abuse occur on school property or institutions of post-secondary education, how are such incidents reported, investigated and resolved? 3.How do athletic clubs report, investigate and resolve incidents of alleged sexual or other abuse? What roles, responsibilities and duties apply to the club’s leadership as well as the coaches and staff who run these clubs? 4.What policies and procedures are in place to prevent and deter sexual and other abuse among student athletes? 5.How are conflicts between existing mandatory child abuse reporting laws and the rules and regulations governing athletic clubs identified and resolved? "I appreciate your assistance with this request. Please direct your staff to coordinate GAO’s response with Scott Groginsky of the Committee’s Democratic staff at (202) 225-3725. Sincerely, George Miller Senior Democratic Member cc: Chairman John Kline" _______________________________________________________________________________ Government probe of sex abuse prevention in Olympic sports went nowhere, By Will Hobson February 20 2016, Washington Post [Government probe of sex abuse prevention in Olympic sports went nowhere, By Will Hobson February 20 2016, Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/government-probe-of-sex-abuse-prevention-in-olympic-sports-went-nowhere/2017/02/20/75c8b0a6-d287-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.01e179cedcb5 ] GAO Report May 29, 2015 [YOUTH ATHLETES: Sports Programs' Guidance, Practices, and Policies to Help Prevent and Respond to Sexual Abuse, GAO-15-418: Published: May 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2015. Government Accountability Office http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-418 ]

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