School sports coaches now required to report suspected child abuse

School coaches will now be required to report suspected child abuse thanks to new legislation signed by the Governor on Tuesday.

The bill will also require coaches who currently hold or apply for a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate to complete two hours of training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. "This legislation is another step forward in New York's fight against child abuse," Governor Cuomo said. "With the proper training, and the clear mandate to report suspected instances of abuse, school coaches will play a crucial role in keeping our children safe and out of harm's way."

Previously, the law was unclear on whether coaches were mandated to report child abuse to authorities. The new legislation clarifies that coaches who are paid employees of a school district have a duty to report suspected abuse.

As with all mandated reporters, coaches will be protected from civil liability resulting from reports that are proven unfounded.

The state's commissioner of education will create regulations to implement the new training. Coaches have until July 1, 2015 to complete their training.