Passing the trash refers to the practice of knowingly or recklessly disregarding information about a former employee’s sexual misconduct, thereby helping the former employee get a new job. Schools, churches and similar organizations engage in this practice to protect themselves from criminal investigations and unwanted media exposure.
Consider the following example: A basketball coach at a suburban Pennsylvania high school is having a sexual relationship with a sophomore student on the team. Another player from the team sees the coach and the sophomore girl kiss in the locker room. The player tells the principal, who says she will take care of it. The principal talks to the basketball coach about the kiss, and the coach denies it. Nevertheless, the coach resigns and leaves the school. The principal does not want to bring negative attention to the school and decides not to call the police. She figures that the coach is gone and the students are not at risk of being sexually abused.
A few months later, the coach gets a job at another school in Pennsylvania. The former principal is contacted as a referral and gives a glowing review. One year later, he is caught having a sexual relationship with a female student at the school.
In an effort to stop this type of abhorrent behavior, PA passed the Every Child Achieves Act (Act), and an amendment to the Act which addressed “passing the trash.” The Act applies to schools that receive federal aid. See PA School Student Sex Abuse News – Legislation Passed to Stop “Passing the Trash”
Passing the trash is not only seen in teacher student sex abuse cases, it is also seen in clergy sex abuse cases. In fact, Pope Francis spoke about the church’s handling of sex abuse cases after his visit to Mexico last month. The Pope said that any bishop who moves a suspected pedophile from parish to parish should resign.” Pope Frances also said, “It’s a monstrosity. Because a priest is consecrated to bring a child to God. And if he consumes him in a diabolical sacrifice, it destroys him.”
Recently, a French priest told new bishops taking a Vatican course that they don’t have to report suspected abuse to the police. This comment was corrected immediately by the Pope’s top advisor, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who said that bishops have an “ethical and moral” obligation to report suspected pedophiles to authorities.
About Brian Kent, a Philadelphia, PA Sex Abuse Lawyer
Mr. Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor and now a Philadelphia, PA sex abuse lawyer. He has his client’s best interests in mind when pursing sex abuse civil lawsuits. If you have questions about a child sex abuse case, call Mr. Kent to inquire about your legal rights.
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