Governor Approves Harsher Punishments For Teachers Who Date StudentsPress Release
SAN ANGELO, TX – Prompted by numerous cases of inappropriate teacher-student relationships across the state of Texas over the last several years, Governor Abbott has signed Senate Bill 7 into law. Senate Bill 7 imposes harsher punishments for teachers and administrators who fail to report cases of teacher-student relationships.
The new law will ensure that teachers who are involved in teacher-student relationships lose their teaching licenses and certifications as well as their tax-payer pension. The new legislation will also impose a harsher punishment on administrators who become aware of the situation but fail to report it. As communicating through electronic devices has become more popular, the law will now require school districts to include written policies to help prevent improper communication between students and educators.
The penalties teachers could face under Senate Bill 7 are:
- Automatic termination of the teacher and loss of certification.
- Superintendents and principals could be fined up to $10,000, if they fail to report an inappropriate relationship within 7 days of discovering it.
- Principals and superintendents who intentionally conceal knowledge of any improper relationships could face jail time.
- If other educators help a teacher who engaged in an inappropriate relationship find a job at another school, they could face suspension, revocation or denial of certification.
- A teacher would also face the loss or suspension of their educator’s retirement annuity if they are convicted.
The bill was approved with wide support from both parties in the legislature and is expected to take effect on September 1, 2017.