A plan to give school districts backbone in the fight against sexual predators is moving toward becoming state law.
Missouri is among the national leaders in the number of teachers losing credentials because of sexual misconduct. An Associated Press study last year turned up 87 teachers who had lost their credentials in a five-year period because of sexual misconduct. Missouri ranks 11th among the 50 states in that category.
But state senator Michael Gibbons says many of those teachers somehow got jobs in other districts. Gibbons says their former districts often were afraid to tell the new districts about the reasons behind a dismissal—-because the districts fear a lawsuit from the former employee.
Gibbons has told a senate committee about a teacher who lost his credential after sexual harassment complaints, fights, and sex with a student, who worked in eight school districts that apparently were not told why he left the original district. He thinks his bill would free districts to share that information.
He wants to give former employers a safe harbor by saying they cannot be sued if they give truthful information to a potential new employer.
A similar bill is before a House committee.
The bill is SB713