AN ACT TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE BY INCREASING PROSECUTORIAL OPTIONS FOR DELAYED REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE, TO EXPAND THE DUTY TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE, TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM ONLINE PREDATORS, TO EXTEND THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A CIVIL ACTION FOR CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE SO THAT A PLAINTIFF HAS UNTIL AGE THIRTY-EIGHT TO COMMENCE AN ACTION, AND TO REQUIRE TRAINING ON CHILD SEX ABUSE AND SEX TRAFFICKING FOR SCHOOL PERSONNEL.
House committee substitute to the 5th edition makes the following changes.
Adds new Part V.
Amends GS 1-17 to authorize plaintiffs to file civil actions against a defendant for sexual abuse suffered while the plaintiff was under 18 years of age, until the plaintiff reaches 38 years of age. Makes conforming changes to GS 1-52, applicable to civil actions commenced on or after the date the act becomes law. Effective from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, this act revives any civil action for child sexual abuse otherwise time-barred under GS 1-52 as it existed immediately before the enactment of this act. Makes conforming changes to GS 1-56.
Enacts GS 115C-375.20 to require each employing entity to adopt and implement a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program for school personnel who work directly with students in grades K through 12 that provides education and awareness related to child sexual abuse and sex trafficking, as specified. Defines school personnel as teachers, instructional support personnel, principals, and assistant principals. Provides that school personnel can include, in the discretion of the employing entity, other school employees who work directly with students in grades K through 12. Allows the training to be provided by local nongovernmental organizations with expertise in the area, local law enforcement officers, or other court officers. Requires all school personnel who work with K through 12 students to receive two hours of training consistent with the statute's requirements in even-numbered years beginning in 2020. Provides immunity for all entities required to adopt a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking program and its members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers with regard to the provision of, participation in, or implementation of the training program, unless the conduct amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. Specifies that the statute does not impose a specific duty of care on an entity required to adopt the training program. Enacts GS 115C-47(64), GS 115C-218.75(g), GS 115C-238.66(14), and GS 116-239.8(b)(17) to require local boards of education, charter schools, regional schools, and laboratory schools to adopt and implement a child sex abuse and sex trafficking training program in accordance with new GS 115C-375.20. Requires the entities to adopt and implement the training program by January 1, 2020, with training required for school personnel beginning with the 2020-21 school year. Appropriates $50,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction for the 2019-20 fiscal year to assist the entities in implementing the training requirement.
Makes conforming organizational changes.