Child abuse awareness may become part of curriculum in Pa. schools

    Pennsylvania hasn’t seen the last of legislative proposals written in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    Lawmakers have started a bipartisan push to bring child abuse awareness into the lesson plans of the state’s schools.

    School districts wouldn’t have to teach children how to recognize child abuse and protect themselves from it, but they would have the option, under a state House proposal.

    Adding something to the elementary education curriculum that raises awareness about abuse could help the children who are being preyed upon, says Rep. Mauree Gingrich, who is sponsoring the measure.

    “Most children don’t possess the skills to verbalize what’s happening to them and they truly fear that no one will understand them or believe them,” said Gingrich, R-Lebanon. “The best defense that we can provide our children is knowledge.”

    The state Department of Education would create model curricula for kindergarten through eighth grade.

    School districts could use that, or create their own lesson plans. Parents would be able to review the abuse awareness curriculum, and even pull their kids out of class if they don’t approve of the material.

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