A bill that failed to pass in this year’s Alaska’s State Legislature is now being revived in Fairbanks.
On Tuesday night, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board unanimously approved an amended policy based on “Erin’s Law.”
The district will now teach students techniques for recognizing and reporting sexual abuse and training teachers and staff to recognize signs of abuse.
The law is named after Erin Merryn from Illinois, who was a victim of child abuse twice. She now travels the country advocating for awareness.
Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), who sponsored the original legislation, hopes Fairbanks will inspire other school districts to follow in its footsteps.
“Erin and I are working together now, calling on school districts statewide to begin the conversation, look in to what they are doing and figuring out how they can be doing more,” Tarr said. “We’ve said, 'Why wait?' on something that could have a positive impact on thousands of students -- we want to be a part of the national effort.”
According to the state Office of Children’s Services, 78 allegations of child sexual abuse were reported in the month of May.
18 states have enacted a version of “Erin’s Law.”