Background Checks to Deter Teacher Sexual Misconduct
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Background Checks to Deter Teacher Sexual Misconduct

Date: February 19, 2008
By: Rebecca Layne
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 1314

Intro: Missouri's House Education Committee chair Jane Cunningham says sexual misconduct by teachers is one of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee's top priorities for this year's legislative process. The issue was raised in this weekend's edition of the public television program Jeff City Journal covered by Rebecca Layne.  RunTime:0:39
OutCue: SOC

Republican Representative Cunningham's bill, which was just passed out of committee, will emphasize more complete background checks on teachers.

Cunningham says the bill is needed due to the recent findings of a national study on sexual misconduct in schools by the Associated Press.

 

Actuality:  CUNNING1.WAV
Run Time: 00:09
Description: The really disturbing thing as Missouri legislators was that Missouri was ranked the 11th worst state in all of the country for sexual misconduct by educators.


The bill will also hold a district liable if it sends a teacher accused of sexual misconduct to another district without notifying the receiving district of the teacher's behavior.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Rebecca Layne. 


Intro: Teachers with sexual misconduct accusations or complaints will face strict background checks with Republican Representative Jane Cunningham's bill that recently passed out of committee. The issue was raised in this weekend's edition of the public television program Jeff City Journal covered by Rebecca Layne. 

RunTime:0:32
OutCue: SOC

Cunningham's bill will include annual criminal checks on teachers to address the gaps that Missouri auditors' found in investigating teachers' backgrounds.

Lawsuit immunity will also be provided to school employees who report child abuse.

Democratic Representative Sara Lampe agrees with the bill's intent, but she expresses concern that some teachers will be wrongly accused without a due process.

  

Actuality:  LAMPE2.WAV
Run Time: 00:04
Description: I don't want this to be a Scarlet Letter bill. I want it to be 'innocent until proven guilty'.

Lampe warned that some students could wrongfully accuse a teacher because of bad grades received in the teacher's class.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Rebecca Layne.