Legislature passes Alaska Safe Children’s Act

Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, spent two days in Juneau speaking to lawmakers. She is campaigning across the country for Erin’s Law -- House Bill 233 in Alaska -- which would require schools to implement sexual abuse education. (Photo by Skip Gray/KTOO)
Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, spent two days in Juneau speaking to lawmakers. She is campaigning across the country for Erin’s Law — House Bill 233 in Alaska — which would require schools to implement sexual abuse education. (Photo by Skip Gray/KTOO)

The Alaska Legislature has passed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act nearly unanimously.

The bill requires schools to provide age-appropriate education meant to prevent harm to children. The section known nationally as “Erin’s Law” teaches students about sexual abuse and lets them know there are resources if someone is hurting them. The second major component focuses on dating violence, and is being called “Bree’s Law.” It is named after Breanna Moore, who was killed last year. Her boyfriend is scheduled to be tried for the murder later this summer.

Over the course of its review, the bill was changed substantially from the original, and became a controversial vehicle for unrelated bills having to do with standardized testing and school contracts with Planned Parenthood.

Those riders were ultimately removed, and the bill sponsors believe that the final version matches their original intent.

The governor is expected to sign the bill, and the program will be implemented beginning in 2017.

Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, was the only legislator to vote against the bill on Thursday.

Reader Interactions

X