ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico woman who was allegedly molested by an Espanola school teacher is making a plea to lawmakers, to make sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to another child.
Nallely Hernandez says the principal at Fairview Elementary didn’t believe her when she went to report her teacher for inappropriately touching her. Now, she’s hoping this new bill will help change that.
“I just didn’t understand why an adult would do that to a child when they’re supposed to take care of them,” she said.
Hernandez says she was in fourth grade at Fairview when her teacher, Gary Gregor, touched her and a group of other young girls more than 10 years ago.
She says the principal and school administration did nothing to protect her after she confided in them about what happened.
Now, she’s hoping to change that by joining forces with State Attorney General, Hector Balderas on Senate Bill 87.
The bill would make it a law to report any acts of child abuse from any person in any situation, like teachers, doctors, or church leaders.
Right now, only family members or guardians can be reported.
“The duty to report, the duty to investigate is something that we need strengthened and we think the governor and the legislature can make a real difference to save lives and moving forward,” said Attorney General, Hector Balderas.
Hernandez says it took her a long time to trust adults after the alleged abuse.
She’s hoping by being involved with this bill, she can be the voice for victims who are too afraid to speak up.
Under the bill, anyone who fails to report suspected child abuse could face a misdemeanor charge.