Senate passes bill that would prevent teachers who have committed sex crimes from teaching again

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate passed a measure that prevent school employees who have committed sexual crimes against minors from seeking employment in other school districts.

Current statutes allow teachers accused of sex crimes with students to resign – rather than being fired – as long as no charges are filed.

They can then become a teacher at a different school because districts are not allowed to ask possible employees why the they resigned from their previous position.

“Often times to protect their privacy and avoid further trauma of facing their perpetrator in court, many young victims and their families choose not to press charges against school employees if they simply agree to resign. This allows that individual to move on to other school districts without prospective employers knowing anything about their crimes—putting more innocent, young people in danger. This bill will ensure our State Board of Education can keep track of these monsters so they can’t continue to work in Oklahoma schools,” said Loveless, R-Oklahoma City.

Senator Kyle Loveless’ Senate Bill 301 would stop districts from unknowingly hiring sexual predators and keep predators from moving around the state to avoid detection.

The measure would require local school boards, not the District Attorney, to notify the State Board of Education to do their own investigation of sex crime allegations.

The state could then revoke the perpetrator’s teaching certificate if found guilty.

“We have an obligation to protect our children and their innocence.  They should feel just as safe at school as they do at home or church.  We should do all we can to keep sexual predators out of our schools and this bill is another step in that effort,” said Loveless.

SB 301 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

 

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