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4/1/2011 4:18:10 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--Bad Bill Adds Volunteers to Mandatory Reporters

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Oregon--Bad Bill Adds Volunteers to Mandatory Reporters!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Please contact the House Human Services Committee before Wednesday,
April 6, and let members know you are opposed to House Bill 2459. This
bill could add every employee or volunteer in a private or religious
organization who had contact with children to the list of those
required to make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. If a
volunteer failed to make a report, he or she could be subject to a
criminal Class A violation charge.

If House Bill 2459 passes, volunteers in a church, youth group or with
any charitable organization that has contact with children would
become mandatory reporters. This would be the first time that
volunteers in Oregon would be subjected to possible criminal charges
if they failed to make child abuse and neglect reports.

While anyone can make a report if they suspect child abuse or neglect
is occurring, if House Bill 2459 passes, private and religious
organizations would have a responsibility to train volunteers that
they should report all suspected instances of abuse or neglect. This
could cause many innocent families to be investigated just so
volunteers don't miss the one true case of abuse or neglect.
Additionally, private groups that rely heavily on volunteers to
provide needed programs involving children may find fewer people
willing to help once they realize they could be subjected to criminal
charges if they miss a possible situation of abuse or neglect.

House Bill 2459 is scheduled to be heard by the Human Service
Committee at 8 a.m. on April 6. Please contact the committee members
listed below and urge them to oppose the bill.

REQUESTED ACTION

1) Please inform your church or any other charitable organization that
you work with who may be impacted by House Bill 2459 so they can get
involved as well.

2) Please call and/or email the members of the House Human Services
Committee listed below with the following message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bill 2459. Adding employees or volunteers of
religious or private organizations to the list of those required to
make reports of abuse or neglect is a bad idea."

"Volunteers or employees of private organizations should not face
potential criminal charges if they fail to miss abuse or neglect.
Adding these individuals to the mandatory reporting list could cause
valuable private programs to lose volunteers. Additionally, HB 2459
could dramatically increase the number of false reports, as volunteers
report situations that aren't abuse and neglect because they don't
want to face criminal charges for failing to report."

"Anyone can already voluntarily make a report of abuse and neglect.
Employees or volunteers of religious or private organizations should
not be added to the list of mandatory reporters. Please vote against
House Bill 2459."

If your representative is on this committee, please let him or her
know that you are a constituent. To find the name of your
representative, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox . You do not need to tell the committee
members that you are a homeschool parent.

House Human Services Committee:

Rep. Vic Gilliam (R), Co-Chair
Phone: 503-986-1418
Email: rep.vicgilliam@state.or.us

Rep. Carolyn Tomei (D), Co-Chair
Phone: 503-986-1441
Email: rep.carolyntomei@state.or.us

Rep. Lew Frederick (D), Co-Vice Chair
Phone: 503-986-1443
Email: rep.lewfrederick@state.or.us

Rep. Jim Thompson (R), Co-Vice Chair
Phone: 503-986-1423
Email: rep.jimthompson@state.or.us

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D)
Phone: 503-986-1433
Email: rep.mitchgreenlick@state.or.us

Rep. Chris Harker (D)
Phone: 503-986-1434
Email: rep.chrisharker@state.or.us

Rep. Julie Parrish (R)
Phone: 503-986-1437
Email: rep.julieparrish@state.or.us

Rep. Jim Weidner (R)
Phone: 503-986-1424
Email: rep.jimweidner@state.or.us

BACKGROUND

House Bill 2459 would add the following individuals to the already
large list of mandatory reporters:

"Employees or volunteers of any public or private organizations
providing child-related services or activities that allow the
employees or volunteers temporary care and control of a child,
including but not limited to youth groups or centers, scout groups or
camps, summer or day camps, survival camps and groups, centers or
camps that are operated under the guidance, supervision or auspices of
religious, public or private educational systems or community service
organizations."

"Employees or volunteers of any public or private entity or
organization providing prenatal or pregnancy care to a child who is
pregnant."

A Class A violation is a criminal charge which, if convicted, would
subject the individual to a fine of $720 per violation.

To see the annual reports on abuse and neglect statistics in Oregon
you can go to: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10784

To see more information on this and other bills HSLDA is monitoring in
Oregon, visit our website at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10785
.

If you are not already a member, please consider joining HSLDA and
help support home education freedom in Oregon and beyond. You can join
online at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10786 .

Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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