Rep. Tarr and Erin Merryn

Legislation Will Provide Safety Information to Thousands of Alaskan Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2015

ANCHORAGE – Thursday, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act into law during a ceremony in Anchorage.  The Alaska Safe Children’s Act includes Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law.  Erin’s Law requires school districts to teach personal body safety information to elementary and secondary school students.  Erin’s Law also requires school staff be trained on how to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse.  Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) sponsored Erin’s Law legislation in the last two legislative sessions and was on hand for Thursday night’s bill signing ceremony.

“Many years from now when we look back on the legislative accomplishments of the 29th Alaska Legislature, passage of the Alaska Safe Children’s Act will be at the top of the list,” said Rep. Tarr.  “I want to thank Erin Merryn and David Holthouse, who both became personally involved in the fate of this bill, for sharing their personal stories and for their courage and dedication in seeing Erin’s Law become a reality here in Alaska. I also want to thank Representative Millett and Senators Gardner, McGuire, and Micciche for their leadership and collaboration in getting the bill passed”

Erin’s Law is the life’s work of child sexual abuse survivor Erin Merryn.  Her law is a simple, cost-effective way to give children the tools and information they need to keep themselves safe from sexual predators.  Merryn is working to get Erin’s Law passed in all fifty states.  Alaska is currently the 25th state to approve Erin’s Law.

“Getting Erin’s Law passed and signed into law in Alaska was very challenging,” said Merryn.  “This achievement is due to the work of those dedicated to ending child sexual abuse in Alaska.  I thank Representative Tarr for never giving up on seeing Erin’s Law become a reality in Alaska.  Thanks also to all the others who joined the effort, especially Cindy and Butch Moore who joined me in being vocal about what we wanted to see in the bill.”

The Alaska Safe Children’s Act includes Bree’s Law, which requires school districts teach students about how to prevent teen dating violence.  Bree’s Law is named after Breanna Moore who died tragically last year in an alleged murder by her boyfriend.  Bree’s Law was championed by Breanna’s parents, Cindy and Butch Moore, in an effort to prevent this type of tragedy from taking another young Alaskan.

“Cindy and Butch Moore were so dedicated to the passage of this bill,” said Rep. Tarr.  “They inspired everyone by turning a family tragedy into something that will help others.  I know Bree’s Law will save lives and I thank them for their incredible work.”

For more information contact Rep. Geran Tarr’s office at (907) 269-0144.

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