— The Indiana Senate has passed a bill inspired by the death of an Elkhart
County toddler that would create a public registry of people convicted of
child abuse or neglect.
which would create a list similar to online sex-offender registries, was
passed by the Senate on Wednesday on a 49-0 vote.
The bill, known
as "Kirk's Law," was inspired by the death of 19-month-old Kirk Coleman,
who died of a brain injury in October 2014 while being cared for by a
babysitter, who had previously pleaded guilty to child neglect in
connection with a 2006 incident involving another child. The woman is
awaiting trial on a charge of felony battery resulting in death.
Coleman's grandmother, told the Elkhart Truth on Wednesday that she's
"more than excited" about the bill's success in the Indiana Senate.
"It brings tears
to my eyes to know our senators care about our children," she said.
decided to pursue the creation of a registry after learning of the
babysitter's prior conviction. If they had known of her criminal past
before Kirk's death, they may not have selected her to care for the boy,
Garza has said.
Sen. Carlin Yoder of Middlebury authored the bill. He calls it "just one
more tool" that parents would be able to use to help assure the safety of
The bill now goes
to the House for consideration.