Las Vegas Sun

August 24, 2019

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Bill would require child abuse hotline posters at schools

CARSON CITY — A toll-free hotline to report child abuse and neglect would be posted at Nevada public schools if a bill presented to a Senate committee today becomes law.

Senate Bill 305, sponsored by Assemblyman James Oscarson, R-Pahrump, calls for posters designed by the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services to be displayed in a conspicuous place and at the eye level of students.

Bold-type text in English and Spanish would display the state’s toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline number.

“It’s a much easier mechanism for the children than we have now,” Oscarson said before the 11-member Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. “This is attempting to be another tool in the toolbox.”

The hotline, established in 1985, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some members of the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services asked if the posters could prompt fraudulent calls or exaggerated claims from students.

Oscarson said hotline operators are trained to recognize legitimate calls. “I think the people on the other end can determine whether little Johnny is just mad his parents are making him do his homework or if his uncle is doing terrible things to him,” Oscarson said.

Several groups testified in support of the bill, including representatives from the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services and the Children’s Advocacy Alliance. Nobody testified against it.

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