Increased Scrutiny Will Protect Students from Abuse and Assault
The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) that would require all public school employees to undergo a Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background check.
Legislation sponsored by Senators Bucco and Corrado would require all public school employees to undergo a Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background check (SenateNJ.com.com)
“We pray and hope our schools are safe from predators,” Senator Bucco stated. “However, under New Jersey’s current laws, we just don’t know. It is time to protect our students and require additional background checks for all school staff members. This common-sense approach will help us stop predators from having access to our students.”
The legislation, S-1129, would require CARI checks for any new employee in the positions that are currently subjected to criminal background checks. Additionally, the bill would mandate that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) create a five-year timeline to complete CARI checks on all school employees.
Currently, New Jersey law requires the Department of Children and Families to maintain an up-to-date statewide Child Abuse Registry. This register contains the names of offenders whom the DCF or Family court has made a finding of child abuse or neglect. Offenders are only placed on the CARI list if the claims of child abuse have been substantiated.
Research has shown that children between the ages of 7 and 13 are most vulnerable to child sexual assault. According to a National Institute of Justice report, 3 out of 4 children who were sexually assaulted knew their attacker.
“From Olympic coaches to New Jersey teachers, our government has let childhood sexual abusers fall through the cracks,” Senator Corrado said. “This has to stop now. Our teachers, bus drivers, and camp counselors must go through proper background checks before having any contact with our students. The safety and protection of our children must come first.”