Bill calls for Ky. teachers accused of sexual misconduct to disclose more information
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky teachers accused of sexual misconduct may soon have to disclose more information.
House Bill 288 would make several changes to the way this misconduct is handled. The bill was filed by Representative James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, and was assigned to the House Education Committee Friday.
The Kentucky Department of Education says they offered suggestions to Rep. Tipton and are generally supportive of the bill.
“We feel like there may have been some loopholes that had not been covered previously and believe that some of those have been maybe cleared up with this bill,” said a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education, Toni Konz Tatman.
Tatman says one of the big things they’ve been discussing is the importance of a uniform teacher application...which includes a question asking if an applicant is currently under investigation for a crime.
“While we’ve recommended that districts ask this question on their applications, we’re not sure if that’s happening,” Tatman said.
However, if House bill 288 is passed, applicants would be required to disclose if they’ve been the subject of allegations or investigations involving misconduct in the previous 12 months and any which resulted in resignation or termination related to abusive conduct. If they don’t, they will be ineligible for hire and subject to dismissal or termination if hired or currently employed by the school district.
The bill also requires districts to keep all records of allegations of abusive conduct with a student or a minor in an employee’s personnel file, regardless of the outcome. Districts would also have to contact each school district an applicant was previously employed by for a reference check during the hiring process. Those districts or nonpublic schools would be protected from legal action arising from the disclosure of information about a teacher’s prior misconduct.
“Educator misconduct, sexual misconduct, harms our students and really represents an egregious breach of trust and dishonors the profession, so anything that we can do to firm up any loopholes is something that we would support,” said Tatman.
The bill would also prevent any public school district or public charter school from entering a nondisclosure agreement relating to misconduct involving a minor or student. It would require all district employees to undergo training related to appropriate...and inappropriate relationships and communications with students....every five years.
It would also prevent any public school district or public charter school from entering a nondisclosure agreement relating to misconduct involving a minor or student. And it would require all district employees to undergo training related to appropriate and inappropriate relationships and communications with students every five years.
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