HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Pennsylvania bill aimed at stopping the practice known as “passing the trash” – when teachers accused of sexual misconduct agree to quietly leave a district in exchange for a cash settlement and letter of recommendation – is making its way through the state legislature, and it can’t come soon enough.
Each year, thousands of students across America are sexually abused by their teachers, and teachers unions often negotiate deals with district administrators to “pass the trash” to another school. Those pedophile teachers typically repeat their grotesque behavior until they’re charged with a crime.
Pennsylvania’s Senate Bill 46, sponsored by Sen. Anthony Williams, would require prospective employers to contact previous school districts to determine if a candidate has a history of sexual misconduct, and requires previous employers to divulge such information, the PA Independent reports.
“The bill prohibits any confidential agreements that could keep sexual misconduct secret, and requires teachers to undergo training so they can recognize signs of abuse,” the news site reports. “It also defines ‘sexual misconduct’ broadly enough to include most grooming behaviors.”
The bill was spawned by the case of Jeremy Bell, a 12-year-old who was molested for several months and eventually killed by his teacher. The teacher had left his prior school district under suspicion of sexually abusing students, but his former employer provided positive recommendations when contacted about his work history.
EAGnews documented the growing problem of teachers and other school employees sexually abusing students in a series earlier this year called “Sextracurricular Activities,” which explores the numerous factors playing into the problem.
Williams is one of a handful of state lawmakers who are taking the issue seriously and working to protect students from abusive educators. Similar legislation has also been introduced in California and New York.
Unfortunately, politically powerful teachers union officials have lobbied against efforts to more easily remove perverted teachers from the classroom.
Union bosses have repeatedly blocked legislation in numerous states designed to address educator sexual misconduct, most often in the name of preserving “due process” for accused teachers.
Thankfully, the issue is creating enough outrage among the public that teachers unions have been forced to reconsider their position. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, for example, is neutral on Williams’ bill, which is obviously far better than actively opposing the measure, as it had in the past.
“We’re for legislation which will help ensure student safety, at the same time, protecting our member’s rights to due process,” Wythe Keever, PSEA spokesman, told the PA Independent.
By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org