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Lawmakers want to make it easier to punish educators who sexually abuse students

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State lawmakers and advocates in every New England state are pursuing legislation to make it easier to punish educators who sexually abuse students— and harder for them to get new jobs elsewhere working with children.

Massachusetts Senator Joan B. Lovely, Democrat of Salem, said she plans to introduce a comprehensive bill next month that will include a long list of changes, including making it illegal for high school teachers to have sex with their students, strengthening requirements to report abuse, and eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for cases involving sexual violations of children.

“We have to take care of our kids,” said Lovely, who said that she herself was a victim of sexual abuse at a young age.

Her efforts and those of colleagues in other states come after a Globe Spotlight Team report found more than 110 private schools in New England have faced allegations of sexual misconduct over the past 25 years. In more than two dozen cases, the Globe found educators moved to new schools after they were fired for misconduct, sometimes with glowing recommendations from their old employers.

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1 in 5 New York Kids Are Sexually Abused. Help Prevent That

The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.

9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.

They are protected by New York State laws.

Sign this petition and change that. Protect NY Kids.

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