MARTINEZ INTRODUCES STUDENT PROTECTION ACT
November 15, 2007 -
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) today introduced a bill to create a uniform system of reporting acts of sexual misconduct by educators. The measure is very similar to one introduced by Congressman Adam Putnam (R-Bartow) in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.
“Currently, there’s no uniform, national system for reporting acts of sexual misconduct by educators. This bill seeks to change that,” said Martinez. “Without a national database, educators found guilty of these terrible acts often retain their teaching certificates and other school districts hire them without knowledge of their past.”
The bill requires uniform reporting requirements for educators and employees accused of sexual misconduct against a student, consistent with established guidelines for reporting child abuse; it requires a central body in each state to be responsible for receiving and investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by educators; and it creates a nationwide database of school employees sanctioned by the state for sexual misconduct – thus enabling state, local, and private school officials to ensure offenders remain out of the classroom.
“States and school districts ought to have a meaningful way to check the record of individuals before placing them in the classroom,” said Martinez. “By encouraging a coordinated system of standards for oversight, reporting, and investigation of sexual misconduct by educators we can better ensure the safety of our children.”