SB 1212 Creates the Amy Hestir Davis Student Protection Act
Sponsor: Callahan
LR Number: 5321S.01I Fiscal Note:
Committee: Education
Last Action: 2/28/2008 - Second Read and Referred S Education Committee Journal Page: S414
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2008

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Current Bill Summary


SB 1212 – This act creates the "Amy Hestir Davis Student Protection Act".

SECTION 160.261 - If a student reports alleged sexual misconduct by a teacher or other school employee to a mandatory reporter, the school district superintendent must forward the allegation to the Children's Division within twenty-four hours. This act changes the standard used when the school board considers allegations of alleged child abuse to a preponderance of the evidence. If the school board finds and concludes that the alleged child abuse is unsubstantiated, but the allegations contain an element of sexual misconduct, the record of allegations and the report of it being unsubstantiated must be retained in a closed record. In addition, if any allegations contain an element of sexual misconduct but the case is unresolved, the record of allegations will be retained in a closed record.

SECTION 162.068 - Beginning July 1, 2009, any school employee who is required to undergo a background check and register with the family care safety registry will be asked to sign a waiver to permit a school district access to closed records in the child abuse registry. No applicant for employment will be required to sign the waiver to be considered for employment.

By July 1, 2009, every school district must adopt a written policy on information that the district may provide about former employees to other potential employers.

The act grants civil immunity to school district employees who report or discuss employee job performance for the purpose of making employment decisions that affect the safety and overall well-being of a student or students if done in good faith and without malice. The Attorney General will defend the employees in such an action as described in the act.

SECTION 162.069 - By January 1, 2009, every school district must develop a written policy concerning teacher-student communication and employee-student communications. Each policy must include appropriate oral and nonverbal personal communication, which may be combined with sexual harassment policies, and appropriate use of electronic media as described in the act, including social networking sites. Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is publically available on at least one open access network, or have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.

By January 1, 2009, each school district must include in its teacher and employee training a component that provides information on identifying signs of sexual abuse in children and of potentially abusive relationships between children and adults, with an emphasis on mandatory reporting.

SECTION 168.021 - In order to get a teaching certificate, an applicant must complete a background check.

SECTION 168.071 - The crimes of sexual contact with a student while on public school property as well as second and third degree sexual misconduct are added to the offenses for which a teacher's license or certificate may be revoked.

SECTION 168.133 - The Highway Patrol, Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Social Services, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must develop procedures to permit an annual check of criminal records in the central repository and the Family Care Safety Registry of employed persons with teaching certificates. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must facilitate the development of procedures for school districts to annually submit personnel information for non-certificated school district employees.

SECTION 210.135 - Third-party reporters of child abuse who report an alleged incident to school administrators are immune from civil and criminal liability under certain circumstances.

SECTIONS 210.915 and 210.922 - This act adds the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to the list of departments that must collaborate to compare records on child-care, elder-care, and personal-care workers, including those individuals required to undergo a background check under section 168.133 and that may use registry information to carry out assigned duties.

SECTION 556.037 - This act repeals the current twenty year statute of limitations for the prosecution of unlawful sexual offenses involving a person eighteen years of age or younger.

This act is similar to HCS/HB 1314 (2008).

MICHAEL RUFF