Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Scott Perry on Friday called on Congress to act on a series of bills aimed either at helping victims of sexual assault or preventing such incidents from happening.
Toomey (R-PA) highlighted a bill aimed at stopping "passing the trash," in which teachers who sexually assault children are able to move on from one job to another.
The Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act would require schools to perform background checks on all new and existing employees. It would also keep schools from hiring people convicted of sexual crimes against children.
The bill stems from a case in which in a teacher in Pennsylvania suspected of assaulting children left his job and was hired as an educator in West Virginia. His previous employer even wrote a letter of recommendation. The teacher eventually raped and murdered a 12-year-old boy in West Virginia.
"This practice of writing a letter of recommendation for these monsters is so common, as shocking as it is, it's so common that if has its own name. It's called passing the trash. And we need to make this illegal everywhere in America," said Toomey.
Toomey and Perry spoke at Turning Point Women's Counseling and Advocacy Center in Springettsbury Township, York County.
Pennsylvania recently passed a bill dealing with the issue of "passing the trash" too. However, Toomey aims to make the standards for background checks uniform across the country in the event a teacher with a record of sexual assault tries to cross state lines seeking a new job.