HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania school employees may soon have a lot more to think about before they lay their hands on students.
Legislation expected to be introduced in the state legislature would hold wayward educators responsible for legal expenses incurred by districts during their termination process.
“State Rep. Will Tallman, R-York and Adams counties, said school districts often end up in legal battles when they attempt to terminate teachers or have teachers’ certifications pulled,” the York Dispatch reports.
Tallman told the news site it isn’t fair that taxpayers are forced to foot the bill to fight cases they ultimately win, an expense that can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in some instances.
It’s an important issue that can weigh heavily on a school district’s budget, and Tallman picked a pretty good time to broach the subject. Pennsylvania lawmakers already are moving on legislation that would prevent educators accused of misconduct from securing secret deals with the help of their teachers union that exchange a letter of recommendation for their agreement to leave quietly.
The practice, known as “passing the trash,” is surprisingly common in Pennsylvania and numerous other states. Often times, educators accused of molesting students or other inappropriate behavior with students simply move on to another school district and repeat their behavior.
The “passing the trash” legislation is pending in the state House, after passing the Senate earlier this year, the York Dispatch reports.
The bill would require more stringent background checks for school employees, require past employers to divulge any disciple or investigation for abuse, and alleviate any liability concerns for district officials who relay the information.
“The bill would outlaw confidentiality agreements that would prevent school districts from disclosing whether the applicant was ever under investigation for abuse or sexual misconduct,” according to the news site.
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Many taxpayers will see the “passing the trash” legislation and Tallman’s proposed bill as long-overdue remedies for problems that have plagued Pennsylvania schools, and countless schools in other states, for decades.
The problem with abusive educators who have managed to float from one job to another, molesting or abusing students along the way, is a byproduct of a union-dominated education system that’s far too bogged down in policies and procedures designed to protect “employee rights.”
Student safety should be every school district’s number one concern, followed by providing quality education services. Legal protections for pedophile school employees are the antithesis of those priorities.