For the past several years, New York State Assemblywoman Margaret Markey has sought legislation targeting the sexual abuse of minors. Yet never once has she introduced a bill that would apply to public institutions—just private ones. Now she is back again asking her colleagues to pass a bill that would suspend the civil statute of limitations for a one-year period; it would allow alleged victims who claim they were molested in a private institution to sue, regardless of when it supposedly happened.
But what if a kid was sodomized by a public school teacher in Albany just before Thanksgiving? New York State law says it is already too late for him to sue. Markey agrees with this condition—the kid is out of luck. She could have attempted to correct this situation, but she has chosen not to. In other words, child rape in public schools is not something she will ever confront. However, if a student was allegedly groped by a Catholic teacher in the 1950s, Markey wants it to be legal to sue the teacher, the school, and the diocese in which it is located.
In the month of February alone, six public school employees have been arrested for sexually abusing a minor. And this is just in New York City! Common decency, as well as common sense, dictates that new laws designed to curb this problem should begin by targeting the public schools. Instead, Markey wants to give them a pass.
There is a bill that does not discriminate between private and public institutions. Assemblyman Michael Cusick and State Senator Andrew Lanza do not care where a child may have been molested, and that is why their bill covers students in all schools. Assemblywoman Markey thinks that equal coverage is wrong; she believes in selective justice, which is the highest expression of injustice.
Contact Markey: MarkeyM@assembly.state.ny.us