“Erin’s Law,” originally House Bill 105, was inserted into a criminal justice bill, Senate Bill 288, and was passed in January 2023, and effective in April 2023. It amended ORC 3313.60 to include child sexual abuse and violence prevention training and education for schools beginning in the 2023/2024 school year.
With the school year starting, it is important that your school district is aware of the training/education requirements contained in this law, and also of the parental notices and specifics on who provides the training/education for staff.
Specifically, ORC §3313.60 now requires school districts to provide instruction in child sexual abuse prevention and sexual violence prevention to students as follows:
– Public schools must annually provide developmentally appropriate instruction in child sexual abuse prevention for grades K-6.
– Public schools must include developmentally appropriate instruction in sexual violence prevention education for grades 7-12.
– Public schools are prohibited from providing instruction in child sexual abuse prevention to students in grades K-6 connected with an individual, entity, or organization that provides, promotes, counsels, or makes referrals for abortion or abortion-related services.
– Public schools must notify the parents or guardians of students who receive instruction related to dating violence prevention and sexual violence prevention that:
- It is required curriculum;
- Parents or guardians may examine the instructional materials, upon request; and
- A student may be excused from the instruction upon the parent or guardian’s written request.
– ODE must provide on its website links to free curricula addressing sexual violence prevention to assist schools in developing their curricula.
ODE’s website last updated August 18th – https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/Creating-Caring-Communities/Child-Sexual-Abuse-Dating-Violence-Sexual-Violence
Erin’s Law also requires the following in-service training for staff:
Training on child sexual abuse incorporated into the current mandated 4-hour, in-service training which includes the prevention of child abuse, violence, and substance abuse and the promotion of positive youth development for teachers and other professionals as outlined in ORC §3319.073. The child sexual abuse training must be:
- Presented by law enforcement officers or prosecutors who have experience in handling cases involving child sexual abuse or child sexual violence.
- Provided to each person employed by any school district or service center to work in a school as a nurse, teacher, counselor, school psychologist, or administrator.
- Completed within two years of commencing employment with the district or center, and every five years thereafter.