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Date:
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2/1/2012 4:51:49 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--You are Needed at Hearing to Stop Mandatory Reporter Bill!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Oregon--You are Needed at Hearing to Stop Mandatory Reporter Bill!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The House Education Committee will have a public hearing on House Bill
4016 tomorrow at 8 a.m. in HR E. This bill would add every employee or
volunteer in a private or religious organization that had contact with
children to the list of those required to make a report of suspected
child abuse or neglect. If you live in Salem please come to the
Education Committee public hearing! If you are not able to come,
please contact the Committee members and let them know of your
opposition to this bill.

While anyone should report abuse or neglect if they know it is going
on, House Bill 4016 could subject volunteers to a criminal Class A
violation if they failed to make a report. Because volunteers won't
want to be charged with a crime for failing to report something, many
will report even when there is no reason to believe that abuse or
neglect is actually going on. The resulting investigations will
disrupt families and create an even larger numbers of false reports.

If House Bill 4016 passes, private and religious organizations would
have a responsibility to train volunteers that they should report all
suspected instances of abuse or neglect to avoid the potential
criminal charge. This could cause many innocent families to be
investigated for abuse or neglect when they have done nothing wrong.

Additionally, House Bill 4016 would allow school district officials to
use "discretion" on whether they would have to notify parents of
children 12 or over who may have been subjected to "abuse or sexual
conduct" in the school. Under the bill a school district would be
required to notify the parent when a child 11 or younger was subjected
to "abuse or sexual conduct" in the school.

House Bill 4016 is scheduled to be heard by the Education Committee at
8 a.m. tomorrow, February 2. If you live around Salem please come to
room HR E. While you don't have to testify against the bill, you can
sign up to oppose it.

REQUESTED ACTION

1) Please inform your church or any other charitable organization that
you work with who may be impacted by House Bill 4016 so they can get
involved as well.

2) Please call and/or email the members of the House Education
Committee listed below with the following message in your own words.
You only need to provide your name and city in your email. Do not
provide your phone or address as emails are public record in Oregon.
You do not need to tell the Committee that you are a homeschool
parent.

"Please oppose House Bill 4016. 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 4016
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.

I also oppose the fact that under House Bill 4016 school districts
would not be required to notify parents that their children 12 or
older may have been subjected to 'abuse or sexual conduct.' Please
vote against House Bill 4016."

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:
http://action.hslda.org/

House Education Committee:

Rep. Sara Gelser (D), Co-Chair
Phone: 503-986-1416
Email: rep.saragelser@state.or.us

Rep. Matt Wingard (R), Co-Chair
Phone: 503-986-1426
Email: rep.mattwingard@state.or.us

Rep. Jason Conger (R), Co-Vice Chair
Phone: 503-986-1454
Email: rep.jasonconger@state.or.us

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

Rep. Michael Dembrow (D)
Phone: 503-986-1445
Email: rep.michaeldembrow@state.or.us

Rep. John E Huffman (R)
Phone: 503-986-1459
Email: rep.johnhuffman@state.or.us

Rep. Betty Komp (D)
Phone: 503-986-1422
Email: rep.bettykomp@state.or.us

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

BACKGROUND

Last year, a very similar bill was introduced, House Bill 2459.
Thankfully, the bill died in the House. House Bill 4016 is even worse
than last year's bill.

If House Bill 4016 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.

House Bill 4016 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, control and supervision 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."

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

In 2010 in Oregon, 89.8% of all reports of abuse and neglect were
determined to not be abuse or neglect. Of all reports that were
investigated, 74.8% were determined to be unfounded. To see the annual
reports on abuse and neglect statistics in Oregon you can click here:
http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/abuse/publications/children/index.shtml

To see more information on this and other bills HSLDA is monitoring in
Oregon, visit our website:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13602

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 here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13603

Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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