from Political News
A bill on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk deletes mandatory reporting of suspected sexual abuse of children volunteer workers.
September 8, 2004 - SB 1313, sponsored by lesbian activist and State Senator Sheila Kuehl, is currently awaiting the signature of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
SB 1313, if signed into law, will revise the state's penal code (1165.7) to remove the requirement that volunteers who work with children must report suspected cases of child sexual abuse. This would remove mandatory reporting requirements from such individuals as pastors, priests, church volunteers, teachers, school volunteers, and medical personnel.
The original legislation had also lowered the age of sexual consent for children who engage in sex with other children. However, the provision for age of sexual consent was removed before final passage.
Attorney Richard Ackerman with The Pro-Life Family Center in California expressed outrage at passage of SB 1313 and has urged Californians to contact Gov. Schwarzenegger to ask him to veto SB 1313.
According to Ackerman, "This is a reprehensible act by Sheila Kuehl. The one common denominator among civilized persons is the ability to rally around the protection of our children. Even one case of unreported abuse has the potential to begin a generational cycle of continuing abuse, and could even result in the death of a child."
Ackerman's comments expressed moral outrage. "No child deserves to be closeted in the darkness of sexual abuse. SB 1313 guarantees a blind eye to the plight of thousands of children. If even one child is abused or dies because of the failure to report by a clinic, church or school, that child's blood is on the hands of Sheila Kuehl and the people who sneaked behind the media's back to get this sickly legislation passed."