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Lawmaker pushes bill to protect students from sexual abuse

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014, 08:08 PM CDT
Written by: Ewa Roman

As the number of alleged sex cases involving students and teachers increase, one state lawmaker is pushing the House to pass a bill that would protect children.

CBS 21 found out that right now, there is no law to prevent school employees, who have been in trouble in the past, from finding new jobs in another district and possibly continuing their behavior of preying on students.

We did some digging and found out that in the last four years, there were close to 20 cases where teachers or school staff were accused of sexually inappropriate behavior.

One of the most recent cases was at Cumberland Valley High, where teacher Emily Nesbit was charged for having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

“ It’s about protecting these children from the scars that they will have to deal with the rest of their lives,” said PA. Senator Anthony Williams, (D-Philadelphia/Delaware Co.)

Pa Senator Anthony Williams stood with survivors and advocates today to encourage House leaders to bring his “ stop passing the trash”  bill to the floor for a vote.

Senate Bill 46 would prevent the sexual exploitation , abuse and harassment of students by educators.

“ They have a responsibility to act now. Not a few weeks from now, not a few months from now, not budget season, but now!” said Williams.

If passed, the bill would change the state’s Professional Educator Discipline Act to prevent school districts from allowing disgraced educators to be hired by other school systems without more thorough background checks.

It would also bar districts from agreeing  to confidentiality agreements, that prevent them from disclosing whether a prospective hire, was ever investigated for the abuse or sexual misconduct of a student.
Officials say the bill would put a stop to “ passing the trash” , which has happened at least 85 times in Pennsylvania over the past few years.

CBS 21 News also reached out to PA House Speaker Sam Smith for comment, but he hasn’t returned our calls yet.
Lawmaker pushes bill to protect students from sexual abuse

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