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Letters: State needs to review laws regarding child protection

State needs to review laws regarding child protection

Recent articles in The News regarding proposed new laws that would protect our most vulnerable, youngest citizens show how out of sync we are with updating our laws. State Sen. Chris Jacobs is co-sponsoring legislation to protect our children in both public and private schools because of the Nichols scandal.

Just last year, on June 20, 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that curtailed circumstances in which children can marry. The legislation prohibits all marriages before the age of 18 and permits 17-year-olds to marry only with judicial and parental consent. Prior to this change the previous law, which dated back to 1929, allowed a young girl of 14 to marry with a parent and judge’s permission. One would think this law could not exist in 2017, right? Yet more than 3,850 minors were married in New York between 2000 and 2010, mostly child brides to adult men.

Under existing laws in New York State, sex between the two would have been constituted as statutory rape. Perhaps New York State legislators need to do a comprehensive review of all laws that impact our children. We need to commit our legislators to monitoring all laws pertaining to our children, especially those who have a disproportionately discriminatory effect on young girls.

Linda Ulrich-Hagner

East Aurora

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