For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
SAINT PAUL, MN – After a recent KSTP investigation into the Minnesota Board of Teaching’s role in reporting cases of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior by licensed teachers, State Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL – Minneapolis) released the following statement:
“These cases of unreported sexual misconduct are very troubling. I would ask Rep. Loon and Rep. Erickson that we pass a stand-alone bill that ensures the members of the Board of Teaching are mandatory reporters of sexual misconduct. We should also speed up the enactment date of the changes that were made in 2017. We need to prevent any future problems with reporting of crimes to law enforcement. In all my years at the legislature, there has rarely been an issue on which there was such broad bipartisan agreement. However, because of politics, the safety of our kids couldn’t be debated and passed as a stand-alone bill. As a retired teacher, Rep. Erickson understands the obligations of a mandatory reporter. Rep. Erickson also understands the duties of members of the Board of Teaching, because she sat on the board herself for a time, even while some of these cases were being discussed. She may be the best person to ask, as to why the board did not take on the duties of a law enforcement agency?
Everyone in the legislature agreed on the provisions that will require the Board of Teaching to report to law enforcement when they revoke or suspend a license based on sexual misconduct or abuse. Everyone in the many coalitions that advocate for students and teachers agreed to the provision. Everyone in the Governor’s administration agreed to the provision. We could easily pass a stand-alone bill to move up the deadline for this provision if legislative leaders had desired to do that, instead of playing games with other controversial issues packed into the Omnibus E-12 Education Finance bill. When leaders put issues about student safety in a bill that contains controversial provisions, they are not protecting students. They are doing the opposite.”
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