FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2015
Contact: E.R. Anderson 202-224-8609
Toomey Measure to Protect School Children Is One Step Closer to Reality
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congress moved one step closer to enacting Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-Pa.) legislation to help protect children from pedophiles infiltrating America’s classrooms.
Members of a joint House/Senate conference committee finalized a bipartisan education bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This conference report includes Sen. Toomey’s legislation banning "passing the trash"—the terrible process whereby a school helps a child molester employee obtain a new job and move onto other victims.
The House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote on the conference report in the coming weeks. If both chambers pass the measure, it will be sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
"We are getting very close to outlawing the outrageous practice of ‘passing the trash.’ We will soon ban schools from helping a child-predator employee land a job in another school. It will be a huge victory for children in Pennsylvania and across the country," said Sen. Toomey.
"Tragically, ‘passing the trash’ is a serious problem with which Pennsylvanians are all too familiar. I am pleased that we were able to bridge our differences across the aisle to agree on a real solution. I will continue to fight to ensure that our schools are safer. Our children deserve it."
Sen. Toomey’s legislation to ban passing the trash was inspired by the tragic story of 12-year-old Jeremy Bell. A school in Delaware County, Pa. quietly dismissed a teacher for molesting several children. But instead of acting to stop the predator, the school helped him obtain a new job in West Virginia, sending letters of recommendation for the teacher. That teacher continued to harm young children, eventually raping and murdering Jeremy Bell.
Under Sen. Toomey’s provision, a school district that receives federal funds shall not assist a school employee in obtaining a new job if administrators know or have probable cause to believe that the school employee engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor or student.
The provision has been endorsed by five child advocacy groups, three law enforcement organizations, and two prosecutors groups:
Child Advocates: National Children’s Alliance
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
S.E.S.A.M.E. (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation)
Center for Children’s Justice
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Law Enforcement: Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
National Association of Police Organizations
National Sheriffs’ Association
Prosecutors: Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
National District Attorneys Association
Elizabeth "E.R." Anderson
U.S Senator Pat Toomey
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510