House Passes Bell's Teacher Background Check Bill

February 8, 2008

The House has unanimously passed legislation to make it more difficult for those who have sexually abused children to get jobs in Virginia's schools.

Republican Delegate Rob Bell's bill would require school superintendents to check child abuse registries in Virginia and other states where applicants have lived in the past five years.

Those with founded complaints would not be hired. The bill also would make it a crime to lie on a school application about past child abuse complaints.

Child Protective Services would be required to notify a school division about employees who have sexually abused children. Existing teachers who take advantage of their students and have exhausted all appeals would be fired and their licenses could be revoked.

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