Oklahoma Senate approves bill which would require 'immediate' reporting of child abuse

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Senate on Thursday approved a bill Thursday which would modify the requirements for reporting child abuse.

House Bill 2259 which would require individuals, especially educators, to report suspected child abuse or neglect of those 17 years old and younger "immediately" to the DHS Child Abuse Hotline and those 18 years or older to law enforcement.

The bill modifies the current law, which says suspected abuse must be reported "promptly."

“Current law advises people to reports suspected abuse and neglect ‘promptly’ but this term is obviously getting misinterpreted as many cases aren’t being reported for several days or weeks after it’s discovered,” said Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee. “As a former educator, I’m glad that the bill specifically requires teachers to report suspected abuse and neglect as these are the people who spend the most time with these kids and can recognize changes in behavior or see evidence of abuse.  For most kids, schools are safe zones and they trust their teachers and often open up about violence in their home.  Hopefully, this change will help protect more of Oklahomans children and get them away from bad situations.” 

HB 2259 now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin. 

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