Numerous calls from citizens and organizations to Senators helped stall S.1877 in committee this week. As previously announced here on AVN, the bill would have defined all adults as mandatory reporters of alleged child neglect or abuse, creating various negative unintended consequences.
Senators were well prepared with pointed questioning thanks to the call-in campaign organized by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and others. HSLDA updated its members last night:
At this hearing, numerous witnesses urged passage of the bill. However, under questioning by senators on the committee, the witnesses also acknowledged that a federal requirement that all adults be mandatory reporters of child abuse is a double-edged sword. It was apparent that more reporting does not necessarily mean accurate reporting of child abuse, and will not by itself protect children. . . .
Additionally, the senators on the committee and witnesses discussed that a federal mandate that all adults be mandatory reporters of child abuse could actually make it more difficult to identify and stop abuse of at-risk children.
The “numerous witnesses” in favor were an attempt by the left to stack the deck in the “debate”—a common tactic. The bill is apparently one more case of leftists and statists trying to leverage a “crisis” in order to grab greater government control. HSLDA says, “We have been told by sources on Capitol Hill that this bill is a knee-jerk response to the tragedy at Penn State University, and that it is unlikely to move out of committee.”
Since it is not yet officially dead, we will continue to monitor the bill which would have drastic effects on many families including home schooling families. But we applaud the efforts of an organized, informed, and concerned group of citizens ready to take action.