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Act 126 Training

On July 5, 2012, Governor Corbett signed into law Act of July 5, 2012, P.L. 1084, No. 126 Cl. 24 Session of 2012, which amended the Public School Code of 1949 to mandate that all school entities (a public school, charter school, cyber charter school, private school, nonpublic school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school) and independent contractors of school entities provide at a minimum 3 hours of training every 5 years to all employees, including contracted substitute teachers, who have direct contact with children. Direct contact with children has been defined as “the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children.” The law went into effect on January 2, 2013.
The mandated training addresses child abuse and sexual misconduct recognition and reporting and, at a minimum, must include training on the following specific topics:
(1) Recognition of the signs of abuse, which is defined as conduct that falls within the purview and reporting requirements under the Child Protective Services Law;
(2) Recognition of the signs of sexual misconduct, as defined in Act 126;
(3) Reporting requirements for suspected abuse and sexual misconduct in the Commonwealth, including those set forth in the Child Protective Services Law and the Educator Discipline Act;
(4) Provisions of the Educator Discipline Act (24 P.S. § 2070.1a et seq.), including mandatory reporting requirements;
(5) School entity's policies related to reporting of suspected abuse and sexual misconduct; and
(6) Maintenance of professional and appropriate relationships with students.
The training may be provided on-line or via distance communication systems, however, all of the topics listed above must be addressed in the training. Thus, providing a three hour training on just one or more of the topics listed above will not satisfy the clear language of the statute. The emphasis should be placed on covering the mandated topics as a minimum, which may or may not involve more than three hours.