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Published: Thursday, 7/2/2009

Get dating bill done

ANY Ohio teenager who has ever endured physical violence on a date should be glad that state Rep. Edna Brown is tenacious.

The Toledo Democrat's dating-violence bill was unanimously passed recently by the Ohio House - again. The bill also passed without opposition in the House during the last legislative session, but there wasn't time for the Senate to act. Now it's again in the hands of the Senate, where legislators should feel compelled to move on it quickly.

The proposed legislation is a response to the murder of a 2005 Start High School graduate, Shynerra Grant, 17, who tried to break off a relationship that had become violent.

Because teenage violence is far more prevalent and largely unreported, Representative Brown's bill - formerly House Bill 247 and now Sub. House Bill 10 - is intended to broaden the powers of juvenile court judges to deal with dating violence among juveniles.

Under current law, juvenile courts can only issue "no contact" orders. This bill would establish a procedure for teens to seek protection orders under the state juvenile code.

Well more than half of the states have adopted similar laws. Now it's up to the Ohio Senate to make sure Ohio joins that list.

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