Keep an eye on HB 218….

House Bill 218 is about improper relationships between educators and students. This is one that educators should keep an eye on.  Legislators are very concerned about the increase in reported instances of educator misconduct and we are almost certain to get new legislation on this topic, but this bill may take things too far.

Section 5 of the bill would require a person who applies for a job as an educator to file an affidavit “disclosing whether the applicant has ever been charged with, accused of, adjudicated for, or convicted of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.”

Really?  If anyone, anywhere, anytime, with or without justification, accuses me of an improper relationship I must disclose this to a prospective new employer? What school district is going to hire that candidate?  If enacted into law as written, this would effectively end the career of any educator who is accused of wrongdoing, even when there is no truth to the accusation.

SB 7 is the companion to this bill in the Senate and it has already been passed. It includes a number of provisions designed to tighten up on teacher misconduct, but does not contain this provision.  If the House passes this one, the two bodies will have to reconcile the two.  So stay tuned.


File this one under: LEGISLATION 2017

Tomorrow: another bill to watch for… cyberbullying and “bullycide.”