Wisconsin schools that teach sex education must now explain state’s Safe Haven law

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Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 11:16 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - Schools that teach human growth and development will now be required to also explain the state’s Safe Haven law. On Friday, Gov. Tony Evers signed Senate Bill 555. The bill is now 2021 Wisconsin Act 90.

Chris Bucher, communications officer for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction said the timeline for implementation is immediate.

Under current law, school districts are not required to provide instruction in human growth and development. However, if a school district provides instruction in human growth and development, it must ensure it includes instruction for relinquishing a newborn.

Under current law, the parent of a child who is 72 hours old or younger may relinquish custody of the child to a law enforcement officer, emergency medical services practitioner, or hospital staff member. A parent who relinquishes a newborn in this manner may do so anonymously and confidentially and is immune from civil or criminal liability for any good faith act or omission connected with the relinquishment.

To avoid prosecution a person must hand the newborn to a person. The baby cannot be left alone at a church, hospital, police or fire station.

In recent years, Wisconsin has had two high-profile newborn homicide investigations.

In Wood County, a woman was convicted of murdering her newborn after the baby died in April 2019. Marylinn Feher received a life sentence.

In Green County, a 17-year-old boy is charged with shooting his newborn daughter and leaving her body outside. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in February. Logan Kruckenberg Anderson is scheduled to return to court Nov. 16.

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