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Law to Educate Ohio Children Long Overdue | News, sports, jobs

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After seven years and three rounds of testifying before Ohio lawmakers, Chicago native Erin Merryn has finally seen the passage of Erin’s law in Buckeye state. According to a report from WCMH, we are the 38th state to pass the bill requiring schools to teach K-12 students how to identify and report signs of sexual abuse, through developmental instruction.

“Ohio finally did it,” said Merryn on social media. “The hardest state for me to pass it.”

What a pity it took so long. But even now, the bill, which was supported by 87% of Ohio parents surveyed, only passed after some amendments were made. State Senator Sandra O’Brien, R-Ashtabula, wanted an amendment that would require law enforcement officers to train teachers before giving prevention instructions, WCMH reported. O’Brien also insisted that instruction cannot be connected to any person or entity “offering, promoting, advising or referring abortion or abortion-related services.” According to the news station, O’Brien said she feared the potential for “take care of or lose our children’s innocence.”

One wonders if it occurred to O’Brien “to polish” and remove “the innocence of our children” is exactly what sexual abusers do.

The Center for Christian Virtue, based in Columbus, was also concerned that Erin’s law could be used “as a vehicle to hypersexualize and indoctrinate children”, reported WCMH. Again, that’s the behavior of predators, not the good guys.

Nevertheless, the law was passed, thank God.

“That’s not going in there and teaching kids topics that aren’t developmentally appropriate,” Emily Gemar, director of public policy for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, told WCMH. “It teaches about respect and bodily autonomy and having healthy relationships with people in all areas of your life.”

While we can’t go back and help the kids who have suffered in the seven years since Merryn first started talking to lawmakers in Ohio about the law, there may be hope that teachers will now have the resources to empower more kids. to speak out against – and stop – their abusers.

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