Sexual Contact By An Educator
Under current law, a secondary school teacher who has sexual contact with a student who is 18 years of age or older may not have committed a crime. The act provides that an educator who subjects a secondary school student who is 18 years of age or older to sexual intrusion or sexual penetration commits the crime of abuse of public trust by an educator if the educator is at least 4 years older than the student. Abuse of public trust by an educator is a class 1 misdemeanor. Consent by the student is not a defense to the crime.
The act requires a public school prior to employing a person to inquire with the department of education (department) regarding whether the person was dismissed or resigned based on an allegation of a sexual act with a student 18 years or older.
The act requires that if an employee of a public school is dismissed or resigns as a result of an allegation of a sexual act involving a student who is 18 years of age or older, regardless of whether the student consented to the sexual act, that is supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the governing board of the charter school or school board shall notify the department and provide any information requested by the department concerning the circumstances of the dismissal or resignation. The public school shall also notify the employee that information concerning the employee's dismissal or resignation is being forwarded to the department. The act prohibits a public school from entering into a settlement agreement that would restrict the public school from sharing any relevant information related to an allegation of a sexual act involving a student who is 18 years of age or older, regardless of whether the student consented to the sexual act, that is supported by a preponderance of the evidence pertaining to the employee with the department, another school district, or charter school pertaining to the incident upon which the dismissal or resignation is based.
Under current law, the department of education can impose licensing sanctions on unethical behavior and professional incompetence. The act requires the state board of education to promulgate appropriate rules defining the standards of unethical behavior and professional incompetency. Unethical behavior must include conduct involving a sexual act between an applicant or holder and a student, including a student who is 18 years of age or older, regardless of whether the student consented to the sexual act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)