Throughout 2020, staff at North Carolina schools will be required to participate in new training programs on reporting child abuse and sex trafficking.

The wave of new training required in 2020 stems from updates to one of North Carolina’s sexual assault laws. Passed by the General Assembly in October and signed by Governor Roy Cooper into law November 7, the law states each school must train all personnel who work with students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

The training will teach staff awareness of warning signs and how to intervene when sexual abuse or sex trafficking is suspected. The two hour-requirement will also inform personnel about the other updated laws regarding the reporting of abuse or trafficking.

A separate portion of the same law harshened the penalty for those who are aware of but do not report child abuse or sexually violent offenses. Willingly failing to report such things to law enforcement now qualifies as a Class 1 misdemeanor. It also strengthens the protections of children online from high-risk sex offenders.

According to the law, the training will be required for personnel to have completed beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.