JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri State Representative Doug Richey has once again filed legislation to ensure employees of the Missouri State High School Activities Association are mandated reporters.
Known as "Emilyn's Law," the bill comes in response to a news story that revealed MSHSAA employees were not required to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement.
HB 139 is named after Emilyn Richardson, whose basketball coach sent her inappropriate messages. Richardson and her parents reported the incident to MSHSAA employees but were surprised when they discovered the employees were not required to notify the police.
HB 139 would apply to any statewide athletic association or organization that receives any public money and has at least one public school district as a member. It would require that all employees of such an association are mandated reporters.
Additionally, HB 139 would require the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create and maintain a database for coaches, as well as staff and volunteers. The database could be checked by school districts that may utilize these individuals in the future. It would include information related to specified substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against such employees and volunteers, as well as specified information obtained by the school districts as a result of criminal background checks
"We want to protect young people like Emilyn, who, unfortunately, can be targeted by predators who are able to move from district to district without being noticed. It's time to put a stop to this awful behavior by giving schools a resource that will allow the bad actors to be identified," said Richey, R-Excelsior Springs. He added, "I want all of our student-athletes to know we stand with them, and we will do everything we can to protect them from individuals who would do them harm."