HARRISBURG, May 1, 2012 — State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams today issued the following statement on the Senate Education Committee’s unanimous approval of his legislation, Senate Bill 1381, which would prevent school employees with a history of sexual misconduct from moving from one school to another, an irresponsible practice often referred to as “passing the trash”:
“For the families and school communities impacted by the reprehensible and heinous behavior of certain employees, I’m overjoyed that we’re a step closer to enacting Senate Bill 1381.

“By no means is the majority of our educators, administrators, or staff that support them filled with the ranks of pedophiles or others who would harm our children. But just one is too many, as witnesses as diverse as parents to school administrators to law enforcement officials have testified. Just one predator can cause a lifetime of damage and hurt, for seldom is there only one victimized child, as studies and investigations have found.

“These predators destroy dozens of lives at a time, be they students whose innocence and trust were crushed or former colleagues devastated by the secrets that are too often part of ‘passing the trash.’

“This practice, this culture, must end. Now. That’s why we must pass Senate Bill 1381.

“We want to restore the confidence among families and those who work tirelessly in our schools that these environments are safe, from inappropriate as well as illegal conduct, from taint, from innuendo. We want to curb sexual misconduct and abuse in schools before it could even happen, and Senate Bill 1381 will help us do that. I’m pleased that my colleagues, across party lines, see the importance of this issue and this remedy.

“Now it’s on to a full Senate vote, to the state House, and hopefully — and shortly — the governor’s desk.”