Andrea Bennett

Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

Kentucky children deserve the safest environment in which to learn. SB 194 strengthens the safety of children at public schools. While public schools already conduct criminal background checks, many substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect are not prosecuted criminally for a variety of reasons.

SB 194 brings public schools in line with what child care and child caring agencies are already required to do, which is to conduct a Child Abuse and Neglect Check with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for new applicants. It also ensures checks are conducted at regular intervals. A Child Abuse and Neglect Check will provide districts important safety information about applicants and employees.

We applaud Senator Adams for sponsoring SB 194 and for the Senate Education Committee for passing it today. Families trust public schools to be a safe place for their children to learn, and SB 194 promotes a safe environment for children at schools.