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Legislation ousts sex-perv teachers

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Assemblyman Michael R. Benedetto announced that the Assembly passed a bill that provides for the termination of any teacher – including classroom teachers, teaching assistants, school counselors, social workers and psychologists, school administrators, supervisors or superintendents of schools – guilty of committing a registrable sex offense and the  revocation of their teaching certificate or license. The Senate and governor back the measure.

 “The goal of this legislation is to streamline the process for getting dangerous sex offenders out of schools and away from our children as quickly as possible,” Benedetto said.

Currently, there is no mechanism to immediately terminate the employment or revoke the teaching credentials of teachers convicted of sex crimes that place them on the sex offender registry because the law requires the state Education Department to conduct a moral character hearing before revoking a teacher’s certification and requires a school district to complete a disciplinary proceeding prior to firing a tenured teacher.

This legislation eliminates these hearing requirements for registered sex offenders by giving the Commissioner of Education the authority to  revoke their certification and allowing a school district to automatically terminate their employment.

Updated 5:30 pm, October 21, 2011
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