|Posted:||January 13, 2021 10:06 AM|
|From:||Representative Russ Diamond|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Protecting Students from Sexual Misconduct|
|In the near future, I will be introducing legislation (Former HB 383) to amend the Pennsylvania Public School Code to further protect students within the Commonwealth by removing policies surrounding employee sexual misconduct as defined by Section 111.1 (Act 168 of 2014) from the collective bargaining agreement.
My legislation would allow school districts to take appropriate disciplinary measures against a public school employee who engages in sexual misconduct with a student by including sexual misconduct as a matter of inherent managerial policy.
In one widely publicized case in my district, a public school employee engaged in the inappropriate grooming of a female student for the purpose of establishing a sexual relationship. After an exhaustive investigation and the district’s best efforts to protect students by terminating the individual, the matter went to arbitration due to a collective bargaining agreement.
While the District proved all the facts of the situation related to sexual misconduct and grooming, the district’s termination was modified to a one-year suspension by the arbitrator. As a result, the district continues to be required to provide employment to this individual while keeping him under heavy supervision and away from contact with students.
It is imperative that we protect every student in the Commonwealth from threats to their health, safety, and well-being. School districts should not find their hands tied in circumstances where employees have proven to be a threat to students, but are protected by a collective bargaining agreement.
In these times when the security and safety of students is one of our highest priorities, we need to take every step possible to protect them from danger and sexual predators. Pennsylvania needs policies that can respond quickly and effectively to protect the security and well-being of its students.
Please join me in support of this very serious legislation.
COX, JAMES, JOZWIAK, MILLARD, SIMMONS and THOMAS
Introduced as HB308