Governor signs child abuse reporting bill into law

Published:

 

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Most college and university personnel will soon be required to report suspected cases of child abuse to the authorities.

A bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Chris Gregoire adds university administrative, academic and athletic staff to the list of those required to report suspected child abuse to the Department of Social and Health Services or to police.

The law will go into effect in June.

Police officers, daycare workers, school employees, doctors and nurses are among those who already have the reporting requirement.

Those required to report suspected child abuse can be charged with a gross misdemeanor for not doing so.

The idea of expanding the requirement to higher education workers gained traction after high-profile cases of alleged child sexual abuse by athletic coaches were reported at Penn State and Syracuse University.