Not too long ago Michigan’s mandated reporter list – which is the list of people that state law requires they report any suspected child abuse – was pretty basic. It included all the folks whose professions bring them into regular contact with children (which makes them the perfect candidates to notice if a child may be a victim of abuse or neglect), like cops, nurses and doctors, teachers, and daycare providers. Pretty much everyone you’d expect to find on that list.
The Nassar case, however, changed everything!
Everything changed in the wake of the Larry Nassar case. It’s astounding to think that one doctor could have such a profound impact on so many people’s lives, but Larry Nassar did exactly that. With his victims totalling over a hundred girls, and the number of people and organizations that we now know were complicit in that abuse for fear of ‘rocking the boat’, the entire state was affected. And we know that people all over the world tuned in to watch his trial. But it was his indirect effect on Michigan’s mandated reporter list we want to examine here.
Post-Nassar, more people were added to the list.
In the wake of the Nassar trial, there was a state-wide push to see more people held accountable for the roles they prayed, however distantly, in the abuse of children. The evidence that came to light during the Nassar investigation showed that numerous people had been made aware of what Nassar was doing under the guise of “treating” his victims. People who did nothing to stop it, or report it. And that’s what needed to be addressed. Which led legislators to decide that more people needed to be added to the list – the very people who didn’t speak up when they should have – coaches and assistant coaches.
And now the list is going to get even longer…
A new piece of legislation just passed the House with almost no opposition, that would put athletic trainers and physical therapists on the list as well. Both work with athletes on a regular basis, and would have regular access to young athletes in the course of their professions. “As a former gymnastics coach and a former gymnast myself, this was really important to me that I could be part of this package,” said Representative Beth Griffin, who co-sponsored the bill.
Being reported as a suspected child abuser can be life-changing!
As parents, we want nothing more than our kids, and all kids, to be protected from abuse of any kind. However, as attorneys we know that there is another side to that coin – the side of the person who is reported as a suspected abuser. Even if the allegations come to nothing, it can still have a damaging effect on your career and reputation. That’s where we come in. If you’ve been falsely accused of child abuse, call 866 766 5245 immediately and protect yourself against a witch hunt. You can’t do this alone, and our skilled and experienced child abuse defense attorneys are standing by to help.