Published June 28, 2012
With the realization that one of the major issues facing our state is what to do about the ever-growing numbers of children who are being abused, the members of the General Assembly passed (with a unanimous vote) a comprehensive bill that includes mandatory reporting. HB1176 is a 58-page bill covering many aspects of the issue of child abuse.
The purpose of this column is to address part V, covered in lines numbered 1118-1250. Without filling this space with legislative wording found in this bill, I will seek to explain what this part of the bill has to say to those of us in the churches of Georgia.
Being a comprehensive bill, it defines terms related to all those who are required to report suspected child abuse. “Clergy means ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, or similar functionaries, by whatever name called, of a bona fide religious organization.” It goes further to list the organization personnel, employed or volunteering, covered under the bill to report suspected child abuse, that includes, “… not for profit … education, training, etc.”
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