States Take Aim at Abusive Teachers

Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina consider new sex abuse laws.

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There have been several news reports in recent weeks about a growing number of states that are trying to combat the problem of sex abuse in schools. From Florida to Colorado, state lawmakers are pushing for tougher penalties against teachers who abuse students and administrators who fail to report such cases. Florida, for example, no longer allows "backroom deals" or confidential agreements that can result in a sexually abusive teacher quietly moving to another district or state to teach. Kentucky is cracking down on administrators who don't report abuse cases by threatening them with 90 days of jail time for the first offense. South Carolina is training thousands of teachers this summer on how to spot sexually abusive behavior by colleagues.

The push for tougher measures comes after the Associated Press reported last fall that 2,570 educators had lost their teaching credentials or received a reprimand from 2001 through 2005 after being accused of sexual misconduct. Are these new measures enough, or are they going too far?

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sexual abuse