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AG seeks to expand child abuse reporting law

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Attorney General Hector Balderas

SANTA FE — State Attorney General Hector Balderas is backing legislation aimed at making it more difficult for teachers accused of abusing a child to move from one district to another, unnoticed by authorities.

The proposal, Senate Bill 87, expands the circumstances under which someone must report suspected child abuse or neglect. It makes it clear that the abuse must be reported to authorities, even if the suspect is a school employee, not the child’s parent or guardian.

In a news conference Monday, Balderas cited the case of Gary Gregor — a teacher who moved among different school districts after he was accused of impropriety. Gregor, a former elementary school teacher in Española, now faces charges of child molestation.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Balderas and Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, are asking Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to add the bill to this year’s legislative session. It can’t be considered otherwise.

“We must now protect the next generation of students,” Balderas said Monday in a news conference.

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