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Renewed Focus on Child Abuse in Oklahoma

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Attorney General Mike Hunter and newly appointed Department of Human Services  Director Justin Brown today called for a renewed focus to combat child abuse after Senate Bill 576 went into effect last month and schools around the state have resumed classes.

SB 576 amends the reporting requirements for public school employees. The law makes clear that all school employees, faculty and staff who suspect child abuse are required to contact DHS and law enforcement authorities. The change to the law also requires law enforcement to keep the name of the school employee who reports abuse confidential.

In addition to today’s announcement, Attorney General Hunter is sending a letter to law enforcement across the state, pledging his office’s support in assisting with child abuse investigations.

“Child abuse is a horrific, devastating and unthinkable crime and my office stands ready to help agencies that may not have the resources necessary to handle these investigations,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Our statewide law enforcement partners have an incredibly difficult job, while facing unique challenges on a day-to-day basis in order to protect Oklahomans. Director Brown and I agree that we should do everything in our power to ensure this new law does not create a burden on them.