BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



            SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             SB 1178            
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Author:    |Vidak                                                |
          |-----------+-----------------------------------------------------|
          |Version:   |February 18, 2016                       Hearing      |
          |           |Date:     March 30, 2016                             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Urgency:   |Yes                    |Fiscal:     |Yes             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Consultant:|Olgalilia Ramirez                                    |
          |           |                                                     |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          
          Subject:  Superintendent of Public Instruction:  child abuse and  
          neglect:  poster


            SUMMARY
          
          This bill, an urgency measure, requires the Superintendent of  
          Public Instruction (SPI) to develop a poster that notifies  
          children of the appropriate resources available for reporting  
          child abuse or neglect.  

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law:

             1)   Establishes the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act  
               and requires all school district teachers and employees are  
               considered to be "mandated reporters," including  
               instructional aides, teacher assistants, classified  
               employees, and employees of a school district police or  
               security department.  Mandated reporters are required to  
               report to any law enforcement department knowledge or  
               observations they may have of a child they know or  
               reasonably suspect to have been the subject of child abuse  
               or neglect.  (Penal Code  11165.7)

             2)   Requires the California Department of Education (CDE),  
               in consultation with the Office of Child Abuse Prevention,  
               to: 








          SB 1178 (Vidak)                                         Page 2  
          of ?
          
          
                  a)        Develop and disseminate information to all  
                    school districts, county offices of education, state  
                    special schools and diagnostic centers, charter  
                    schools and their school personnel regarding the  
                    detection and reporting of child abuse. 

                  b)        Provide statewide guidance on the  
                    responsibilities of mandated reporters who are school  
                    personnel.

                  c)        Develop the appropriate means of instructing  
                    school personnel in the detection of child abuse and  
                    neglect, as specified. 

                  d)        Establish best practices for school personnel  
                    to prevent abuse, as specified. 

             3)   Further requires CDE to adopt guidelines to be  
               disseminated to parents or guardians of pupils that  
               describe the procedures that a parent or guardian can  
               follow in filing a complaint of child abuse with the school  
               or a child protective services agency against a school  
               employee or other person that commits an act of child abuse  
               against a student at a schoolsite.  (EC  33308.1)

            ANALYSIS
          
          1)   This bill, an urgency measure, requires the Superintendent  
               of Public Instruction (SPI) to develop a poster that  
               notifies children of the appropriate resources available  
               for reporting child abuse or neglect.  Specifically this  
               bill:

               a)        Requires the SPI to:

                           i)                  Include the appropriate  
                         telephone number to report child abuse or  
                         neglect.  

                           ii)     Post on the department's Internet Web  
                         site specified versions of the poster for public  
                         download. 

                    b)             Authorizes the SPI to partner with  








          SB 1178 (Vidak)                                         Page 3  
          of ?
          
          
                    government agencies and nonprofit entities for purpose  
                    of design and content. 

               c)        Requires that the poster:

                    i)             Be no smaller than 8.5 inches by 11  
                  inches.

                           ii)     Be produced in Spanish, English and  
                         three other languages to be determined by the  
                         SPI. 

                    iii)           Direct children to call "911" in case  
                  of an emergency.

          2)   Encourages school districts, charter schools and private  
               schools to post the appropriate version or versions in an  
               area of the school where students frequent. 

          3)   Makes the bill an urgency measure in order to meet the  
               deadline requirement established by the bill. 

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
          1)   Need for the bill.  According to the author, while mandated  
               reporting laws train school staff to identify the signs of  
               suspected child abuse, children who do not exhibit these  
               signs may not receive the help they need.  The author  
               asserts that after posters were placed in Texas schools,  
               the number of calls reporting suspected cases of abuse  
               significantly increased than in prior years.  This bill  
               seeks to provide children with greater access to child  
               abuse reporting information by encouraging schools to  
               display a poster, developed by the SPI, in areas where  
               children congregate. 

          2)   Information directed to students.  It appears that very  
               little information related to child abuse awareness is  
               directed to children in schools.  Health education content  
               standards, developed by the California Department of  
               Education, include strategies to promote child abuse  
               awareness directly to students.  However, information  
               included in the standard does not ensure actual  
               instruction.  Other tools and resources related to  








          SB 1178 (Vidak)                                         Page 4  
          of ?
          
          
               identifying the signs of child abuse or reporting cases of  
               suspected child abuse are geared toward adults who are  
               mandated reporters such as teachers and other school  
               employees.  

          3)   Is this the appropriate remedy?  Notwithstanding the  
               seriousness of this issue, is legislation necessary for the  
               development of a poster?  Could the author simply request  
               that the Superintendent of Public Instruction undertake the  
               activities outlined in the bill?  

            SUPPORT
          
          Children's Advocacy Centers of California 

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received. 

                                      -- END --