Protect New Jersey's Children. Keep child abusers out of our schools!

Protect New Jersey's Children. Keep child abusers out of our schools!

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Casey Mendes started this petition to Assemblywoman Gabriela M. Mosquera and

Did you know that in the state of New Jersey an individual found guilty of child abuse and or neglect is still legally able to teach and/or substitute in our school systems as long as they pass a criminal history check? I didn't, and this must change! Teachers are people that we are expected to automatically and unequivocally trust to care for our children 6 hours a day for 180 days a year. 

New Jersey has a child abuse registry, also known as CARI. Per the division of child services website, "CARI background checks are used to determine whether an individual who is subject to a CARI background check has a substantiated report of a child abuse and/or neglect. A "CARI" or "Child Abuse Record Information" means the information in New Jersey's child abuse registry as established in N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.11, which may be released to a person or agency outside the Department’s Child Protection and Permanency only prescribed by Law."

Those who are subject to Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) checks include:

Child Care Center Employees – N.J.S.A. 30:5B-6.2
DCF Employees and Contracted Partners – N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.10f (2017)
Department of Human Services (DHS) Employees and Contracted Partners – N.J.S.A 9:6-8.10f (2017)
Resource Parent Applicants – N.J.S.A. 30:4C-27.7
Kinship Legal Guardians – N.J.S.A. 30:4C-86
DCF/Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) Residential Center Employees – N.J.S.A. 30:4C-27.22
Registered Family Child Care providers – N.J.S.A. 30:5B-25.3
Division of Family Development (DFD) Approved Homes – N.J.S.A. 30:5B-32
Professional Guardians for the Elderly – N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.10e
Persons assuming care for children of incarcerated parents – N.J.S.A. 9:6-8-10c
Adoption Agency Employees – N.J.S.A. – 9:3-40.8
Adoptive Parent Applicants (private or DCF) – N.J.S.A. 9:3-54.2. 
Prospective Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers – N.J.S.A. – 2A:4A-92(d)(2). 
Juvenile Justice Commission employees – Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) – 42 U.S.C. 15601; 28 CFR 115.317; N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.10a (b)(20)

WHY NOT OUR TEACHERS?

This means that at any school the children in our lives attend they can be exposed to child abusers. Some of these abusers have had their own children taken away from them, yet they can still care for 20+ students a day. Let's not forget about all of the children in our school systems that have themselves been victims of abuse or neglect. These children who have already been through enough may now have to go into school at any given time and be exposed to a person who was found guilty of abuse or neglect themselves. 

On January 25th, 2018: Senators Anthony R. Bucco, Kristen M. Corrado, Fred H. Madden Jr., and Troy Singleton sponsored Bill S 1129, which would require all persons being considered for a teaching position have their CARI report run, and would in turn block child abusers' ability to enter into employment. Bill S 1129 was passed by senate on June 21st, 2018 by an amazing 39/0 vote. That same day the bill was received in the assembly and referred to the Women and Children Committee where it has sat since!! 

Do you want to send your child to school from kindergarten through high school with the risk that at any time in their educational career they can be exposed to substantiated child abusers? I sure don't.

For those reading this petition that may not know me, I am Katherine but I go by my middle name Casey. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, 1 of whom was a victim herself of abuse and neglect. My child has more strength than I imagine I would have had at her age. Through the help of her family, friends, and an amazing therapist, she is thriving. I CAN NOT believe that I send her to elementary school every single day and have no idea if she is again being exposed to the same type of person. I DO NOT want to send my younger children to school in a few years and have the same fears. 

 

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