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  • Carolyn Phenicie

22-year ‘Moral Imperative’: All the Times Congress Tried, And Failed, To Protect Kids From Abusive T


For the first time ever, the recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act requires states and districts to have policies that prohibit employees from assisting employees who have “engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student in violation of the law” from getting a new job.

This process is commonly known as “passing the trash” and sometimes occurs when authorities have reason to believe a teacher or other school employee engaged in inappropriate behavior, but not enough evidence to prosecute.

But that new ban isn’t enough to protect children, particularly in light of USA Today’s recent report detailing states’ failures to adequately report and check on the criminal histories of adults hired to work in schools. There still is no federal standard for what type of background checks teachers and other adults who work in elementary, middle and high schools must undergo. In fact, there’s no national mandate that states or districts even conduct them at all, or that people convicted of, say, child pornography, be banned from classrooms. (The 74: 3 Things Every Parent Should Know About USA Today’s Jaw-Dropping Teacher Discipline Investigation)

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