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Senate Hearing on Reports of Teacher Sexual Misconduct, Failure to Report Child Abuse in Schools Held Today

TRENTON – The Senate Labor Committee, Chairman Fred H. Madden, and the Senate Education Committee, Chairwoman M. Teresa Ruiz, met jointly today to hear testimony from invited speakers on the topics of teacher sexual misconduct, the reporting of child abuse in schools and the process for tenure charge arbitration in the case of teacher sexual misconduct.

Speakers included child advocates, state education officials and representatives of school boards, school administrators, teachers’ unions, county prosecutors and parents.

“Sexual misconduct and sexual assault has no place in our society, and certainly no place in our schools,” said Senator Madden (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Today was the first step in taking a critical look at the protocols in place for reporting and investigating these incidences. We do not take lightly the idea of incidences of educator on student assault or harassment going unreported. We hope to find out exactly what transpired and what we can do to better protect our students going forward.”

“When we drop our children off at school we should feel confident that they are safe,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “All adults within our schools should have the best interest of the student in mind. We must look at ways we can strengthen our laws to best protect our children and hold the adults charged with their care responsible for their safety.”

The joint hearing was called in response to the release online of several videos showing teachers’ union officials in several New Jersey school districts telling individuals that they do not need to report alleged cases of teacher-on student assault or teacher-on-student sexual assault.

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