KU: Reporting Child Abuse ‘Our Duty as Human Beings’

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LAWRENCE, Kan. - The disturbing allegations of child sexual abuse by a former Penn State football coach has prompted officials at the University of Kansas to sound the alarm, reminding everybody on campus to report any criminal activity they see or are aware of.

On Friday, KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little sent an e-mail to students, staff and faculty saying, "the shocking allegations of abuse at Penn State serve as a reminder to us all of the importance of reporting crime and other offenses to the proper authorities, including law enforcement."

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The chancellor's email got positive reviews from KU students.

"I think it shows that we're a concern campus," said senior Mollie Frick. "It's just safety's very important."

"I walk by myself all the time around campus and I always think what would happen if something were to happen to me, who would be around to help me?" said Frick.

Under current Kansas and Missouri law, teachers and officials at K-12 schools are required to report alleged crimes against children to authorities. But that law doesn't extend to university campuses.

Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing a number of young boys, including several on campus. Two other Penn State officials are charged with not reporting the alleged incidents to authorities, and the firestorm has led to the firing of legendary head football coach Joe Paterno.

In the e-mail, Gray-Little says, "it is our duty as human beings to immediately report any abuse or sexual assault of a child, includig reports you receive from others."

KU spokesperson Jack Martin says that the school is looking at their policy to determine how to put that responsibility into the school's policy.

Safety-conscious students say that's a good idea.

"You got to make sure everyone's safe and everybody's doing the right thing," said senior Hans Bjerkan.

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