Teachers in Trouble Slip Through Cracks
September 29, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana teachers who run afoul of the law won’t necessarily get into any trouble over their licenses because the state’s system of reporting and background checks lags those in other states, a newspaper study found.
Unlike other states, Indiana doesn’t require schools and police to report most teacher misconduct to state education officials, The Indianapolis Star reported Sunday.
Instead, prosecutors and school superintendents are required to report only if teachers are convicted of certain felonies: kidnapping, dealing drugs or sex crimes against children. Arrests or investigations even for these crimes — and convictions for lesser ones — can fall below the state’s radar.
“Ideally we would want to be notified anytime anybody holding a teacher license gets arrested,” said Kevin McDowell, general counsel for the Indiana Department of Education. “Some states do that.”
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