On April 28, 2021, the Board of Regents amended Section 100.2(c) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to implement Erin’s Law (New York Education law Section 803-b). Erin’s Law was enacted, effective July 1, 2020, to require that all students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade receive instruction designed to prevent child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse.
The regulations provide that this curriculum may be built into a school’s health education program, and should be developed in consultation with school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, parents, and community members. The curriculum must be designed to meet three objectives:
- to assist children, parents, and school personnel in identifying child sexual abuse and exploitation;
- to provide awareness, assistance, referral, and resource information for victims of child sexual abuse and/or exploitation; and
- be aligned to grade band objectives prescribed by the Commissioner.
Grade bands are used to give schools flexibility in covering the curriculum requirements, because students are only required to complete the curriculum by the end of each grade band. These grade bands are divided as follows: K-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 6-8.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has created a website dedicated to Erin’s Law, which can be found at http://www.nysed.gov/curriculum-instruction/erins-law. This website has resources for developing curriculum, including grade band objectives, and further information for schools and families. NYSED recommends that educators create and tailor their curriculum to align with each individual school and program.