Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on Thursday evening signed a bill into law that provides education for teachers so they can recognize signs of sexual abuse and teach students about dating violence, among other provisions.
House Bill 44, also known as the "Alaska Safe Children's Act," incorporates elements of a program known nationally as "Erin's Law" with a locally created effort called "Bree's Law," and was passed by the Alaska Legislature on the final day of this year's prolonged special session.
"Erin's Law" requires school districts to implement a training program that teaches staff to recognize signs of sexual abuse, as well as educate students about abuse. "Bree's Law" is named for Breanna Moore, an Anchorage 20-year-old who police say was shot and killed by her boyfriend in 2014. Moore's parents were vocal advocates for the provision to the bill, which requires middle- and high-school students be taught about dating violence and healthy relationships.
"With the signing of the Alaska Safe Children's Act, our state is one step closer to protecting the future health and safety of our children and our next generations," Walker said in a statement announcing his intent to sign the bill into law.