STATEHOUSE- Parents and students across the state have been shocked in recent months to learn of cases of child exploitation at various high school athletic teams in Marion County.
The headlines resulted in State Rep. Dave Yarde (R-Garrett) authoring and co-authoring several pieces of legislation this session designed to further protect students from all kinds of predators.
Yesterday, he signed on as a co-author of House Bill (HB) 1290. The bill states that a teacher or coach in a primary or secondary school who knowingly or intentionally has sexual contact with a student younger than 19 will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and will be revoked of their teaching license if convicted.
HB 1291, which Rep. Yarde is also co-authoring, would increase penalties for child exploitation if the photograph, film, videotape or digitized image used to commit the offense was taken at or created in a public building, school or library.
If passed, another bill authored by Rep Yarde-HB 1326-would make it a Class D felony for a sex offender to enter a public library except to vote on election day.
Lastly, Rep. Yarde wants to ensure that students' whereabouts are known to parents and teachers at all times. HB1327 would require the parent of a child to notify the child's school when the child will be absent.
"Nothing is more important than protecting our kids," said Rep. Yarde. "Parents in our community should be able to rest easy knowing that their children are safe at public schools and libraries, which is why I'm proposing these bills in the Indiana House."
Other bills filed by Rep. Yarde include HB 1338, which would increase the penalty for manufacturing meth if another person is injured or killed in the process, and HB 1343, which would increase the number of pistol calibers that can be used in a rifle during deer hunting season.
If House committees and the House chamber approve these proposals, they will be sent to the Senate where they will undergo a similar process. You can check their progress online anytime at http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/.
Rep. Yarde can be reached by phone at 1-800-382-9841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.