When it comes to child sex abuse, we’re all ‘mandatory reporters’

While I do enjoy plumbing “gray area” hypotheticals and connecting different issues to one another, I’m afraid those predilections obscured a central point I wanted to make in my previous column on new laws about reporting child abuse. As noted, the new laws expand the definition of “mandatory reporters,” folks who work with kids and are now legally required—24/7— to inform authorities of any evidence they see of child abuse, physical and/or sexual.

Those who suspect child abuse carry major new legal responsibilities

After the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal became national news, state Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, sponsored legislation requiring coaches to report suspected child abuse. State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, also filed a bill, one that extended whistleblower protections to employees who report abuse of a minor by a co-worker or supervisor.