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Is Ohio obligated under Erin’s Law to notify families of kids impacted by school sexual abuse should those cases be sealed? Letter to the Editor

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I am writing because I need help understanding how the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce is implementing a law known as Erin’s Law. Erin’s Law was signed into law early last year as part of a larger criminal justice bill, Senate Bill 288, that took effect last April. As reported, Erin’s Law aimed to “require schools to provide age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention education.” An analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Service commission says the bill also requires that public schools “incorporate training on child sexual abuse into … required in-service training for teachers and other professionals.”

In 2011, The Columbus Dispatch reported that the Ohio Department of Education had 246 cases, including cases of sexual predation, that were “classified ‘confidential’.” So I am confused. Now that Erin’s Law is law, how is the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce deciding which cases to seal, and how will families of victims learn their loved ones’ case has become classified as “confidential”?

Elaine Matthews,

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