Press Release

Blackburn Works to Protect Children in Tennessee

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Washington, March 15, 2016 | Stefanie Wheeler (202-768-5721) | comments
In 2015, 496 school employees were arrested nationwide for child abuse, and a publication recently suggested it’s occurring in Tennessee. As a result, Congressman Blackburn introduced H.R. 4666, the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act. This legislation requires schools receiving federal funds to perform background checks on all existing and new employees as well as contractors who have unsupervised access to children. The background checks must be vetted through multiple state and federal databases. Under the bill, a school may not hire a person if he or she has committed certain crimes, including any violent or sexual crime against a child.

A study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the average offender, who is a school employee, abuses 73 children over a lifetime. 
 
“Providing students with safety shouldn’t be too much to expect when parents are considering a public school for their child. Each year, hundreds of teachers and faculty are arrested due to sexual misconduct with children. As a mother and grandmother, any number above zero is unacceptable. This is common-sense legislation that should have been on the books long ago. The safety of young minds is the foundation of our country’s future,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn's bill is the House companion to Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) bill, S. 474.  

“In each of the last two years, more than 450 teachers and other school employees were arrested across America for sexual misconduct with children, including dozens of Pennsylvania teachers. This constitutes more than one arrest per day of the year, and those are just the pedophiles we know about," said Sen. Toomey. "Every story represents a tragedy, a childhood shattered, and a family torn by grief, betrayal, and self-blame. We have an obligation to do everything in our power to safeguard our children from sexual predators. I am grateful to my House colleagues for joining me in this effort to protect America's children.”
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