Senator proposes bill to prevent inappropriate relationships in school

OKLAHOMA CITY - A lawmaker is taking action to help put a stop to inappropriate relationships between school staff members and students.

Senator Kyle Loveless keeps a board inside his office documenting cases across the state but said the types of relationships have happened so many times over the last couple years he does not have enough room to document them anymore.

"This one here is actually one that Channel 4 helped on. It was six counts of second-degree rape,” he said, pointing to one case.

It usually does not happen overnight.

It is a process.

"Grooming: predators lay the foundation over a period of days, weeks, months, however long to establish a relationship,” Loveless said.

Loveless authored Senate Bill 20, and he is hoping it will help others recognize the budding inappropriate relationships.

"That's what this bill will do, is provide the teachers and school employees training so that they would be able to spot other teachers that are doing this and then report it,” he said.

But, it does not stop there.

He is also working on another bill that would hold anyone who knows about such conduct accountable – basically, if someone knows about a possible unethical student/teacher relationship and helps them get another teaching job, they could get into trouble, too.

"Aiding and abetting bill: We would make it to where it was illegal for an employee of a school district to basically aid and help a predator that was suspected and probably did something in a district from moving on,” he said. “We had the case in Texas, where the person moved across state lines. He had to have letters of recommendation."

In fact, NewsChannel 4 uncovered the teacher’s new employment in Texas and notified school officials there.

He was fired from the district as a result, but that is not the first time an accused teacher fled the state for another job.

"They were processing her here in Oklahoma, and moved to Mississippi and offended there,” Loveless said of another case posted on his teacher predator board.

He hopes it is one of the last.

There was opposition from some claiming the bill language paints all school personnel with the same brush, however, Senate Bill 20 passed out of committee Monday morning.