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4/9/2003 3:03:04 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Nevada--Mandatory Reporting Bill Must Be Opposed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 9, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Homeschoolers routinely volunteer their time to build strong local
support groups which provide organized activities for homeschooled
children. But a new bill before the Nevada Senate would force every
person who volunteers in a local support group to report any evidence
of child abuse or face criminal penalties. We need your help to
defeat Senate Bill 383.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact every member of the Senate Committee on Human
Resources and Facilities to urge them to vote "No" on Senate Bill
383. Tell them, "This bill goes too far, volunteers should not be
charged with a crime for not reporting suspicions of child abuse.

Senate Committee on Human Resources and Facilities members:

Raymond Rawson - Chair rrawson@sen.state.nv.us
Barbara Cegavske - Vice Chair bcegavske@sen.state.nv.us
Maurice Washington mwashington@sen.state.nv.us
Dennis Nolan dnolan@sen.state.nv.us
Joseph Neal jneal@sen.state.nv.us
Bernice Mathews bmathews@sen.state.nv.us
Valerie Wiener vwiener@sen.state.nv.us

BACKGROUND

In 1973, the United States Congress enacted the Child Abuse
Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to establish a new "therapeutic"
approach to "treating" and "preventing" child abuse. Unfortunately,
this effort to turn child abuse into a "sickness" has not worked out
as well as its sponsor (Senator Fritz Mondale) might have hoped. With
over two million reports of child abuse and neglect each year, many
parents report that the system now presumes the innocent guilty, at
the same time treating the guilty as "sick." HSLDA believes that
child abuse is a crime, and should be punished, not "treated." By
treating child abuse as a crime, the government protects innocent
children while still presuming that parents are innocent until proven
guilty.

Senate Bill 383 continues a trend of forcing more and more people to
report "suspicion" of child abuse. Under existing law, persons with
an official or professional responsibility for children are required
to report suspicions of abuse or neglect. Senate Bill 383 would turn
every person who is employed by or serves as a volunteer for any
entity that provides organized activities for children into a
mandatory reporter. This would directly affect homeschoolers in local
support groups, and should be opposed.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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