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Education

Lawmaker Says More School Official Involvement Can Improve Child Welfare System

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Ohio Senate
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Sen. Capri Cafaro (D-Youngstown) speaking on the Senate floor in the Ohio Statehouse

A state lawmaker is asking school officials to take more steps to make sure that kids who may be living in dangerous conditions don’t fall through the cracks. 

Democratic Senator Capri Cafaro of the Hubbard area recalls the story of Teddy, a 14-year-old who was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend.

Cafaro’s bill would require school principals to enter any new students into a preexisting child welfare database to make sure there aren’t any pending cases.

“One would be able to at least figure out where this child has gone and then alert the CSB of jurisdiction,” said Cafaro.

That school official would only have access to a limited profile of that student.

Cafaro says children services officials were investigating Teddy’s home life before he was killed, but according to Cafaro his case slipped off the radar when his mother moved her kids to a new school district.