State lawmakers have moved to protect students from being sexually molested by a teacher, while protecting teachers from being falsely accused.
The House put the final touches on SB 54, passing the bill called the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act unanimously on a 154-0 vote. The Senate unanimously approved the legislation in early April. It now goes to Governor Nixon for his consideration.
Under the bill, local school districts would be given greater latitude to discuss why a teacher was fired, disclosing any problems with sexual misconduct. School districts also would be held liable for not disclosing the problem if the dismissed employee attempted to gain employment at another district.
The legislation is named for a Missouri woman who was molested by a junior high school teacher. The district quietly dismissed the teacher without disclosing his violations. He won employment at several Missouri districts, where he sexually assaulted other students. The practice of dismissing a teacher for sexual misconduct only to have the teacher employed at another district unaware of the teacher’s part has earned the tag, “passing the trash”.