Timeline: The Battle Against “Passing the Trash”


Dec 2010 — The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases a deeply troubling report detailing 15 case studies of people with histories of sexual misconduct being hired as school employees. The report notes that no federal laws exist to prevent this and state laws varied wildly. 1
Dec 2010 — The House responds with legislation banning the heinous practice known as ‘passing the trash’- when a school district allows an employee suspected of abuse to quietly resign, as opposed to pursuing charges. Unfortunately, the bill was not considered in the Senate. 1
Oct 2013 The House again passes the bill to ban “passing the trash.”. 1
Oct 2013 — Sen. Pat Toomey introduces the “passing the trash” ban in the Senate. 1
Jan 2014 — The GAO releases another report on how the federal government can support states’ efforts to report and respond to sexual misconduct by school employees. 1
Jan 2014 — Pat holds a press conference with state officials in Harrisburg to rally support for “passing the trash.” 2
Feb 2014 —Pat and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) publicly push for a vote on the “passing the trash” ban on the Senate floor. 1
Sep 2014 — Pat leads a Congressional coalition calling for the Senate to act and remove child predators from classrooms. 3
Jul 2015 — Pat offers the ban on “passing the trash” as an amendment to an education bill. The amendment is unanimously adopted by the Senate. 1
Dec 2015 — The House passes Sen. Toomey’s amendment to ban “passing the trash,” and it is signed into law. 1