Monday, December 28, 2009

Ohio law addresses teen dating violence

Some really good news out of Ohio today (which happens to be where I live): Gov. Ted Strickland signed legislation called the Tina Croucher Act, otherwise known as Tina's Law.

Tina Croucher was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend in 1992, before he shot himself, and her parents have been working to educate parents and teens about domestic violence ever since, including starting a group called Citizens Against Domestic Violence in 1996.

According to this story, under Tina's Law:
  • Local boards of education must adopt a policy to prevent and address dating violence at school;
  • Train staff on prevention and include dating prevention education in health classes for grades 7-12;
  • The Ohio Board of Education is required to develop a dating violence prevention policy for schools.
You can read the full bill here. This is good news in and of itself -- obviously children and teenagers need to be aware of dating violence and all that comes with such education. But this legislation comes some months after Ohio received an 'F' for teen dating violence from the group Break the Cycle. I have to take this as a sign Ohio legislators are responding to a need here, and it's an important one, too.

Kudos to the Ohio lawmakers for getting this done, and I hope they continue on this path, because also working its way through the Ohio legislature is a bill that would allow juveniles to seek protection orders, something they currently can't do here. That bill needs to be passed, and from the sounds of it, will be.

Curious to see other state laws regarding teen dating violence? Check here.

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