Lawmakers Set Priorities For Protecting Kids From Educational Predators

Sep 21, 2016

Credit Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

After a number of high profile teacher sexual misconduct cases and a low ranking on a national “teacher conduct” scorecard -- state lawmakers formed a committee to recommend a plan of ways to protect Indiana children from sexual predators.

Now, the committee has a set  recommendations it hopes will become law.

Lawmakers say tougher measures could protect Indiana children from predatory school employees.

Under new recommendations, educators convicted of certain felonies would automatically lose their licenses.

The department of child services would be required to notify schools of employees involved in active cases. And every district would need to background check every employee every five years.

Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) says continued checks on the same people are necessary.

"Sometimes that some of these offenses don't get reported back to district. You have a lot of movement around," says Behning.

Current law requires background checks for fully licensed staff, like teachers and principals, once when they're hired.

Lawmakers will present these recommendations next session.