News in Brief: A National Roundup
Complaints Against Educators on Rise, N.Y. State Reports
The number of complaints against New York state teachers allegedly involved in inappropriate behavior has almost doubled in the past five years, says a report from the state education department.
In the 2005-06 school year, 134 such cases were brought to the state’s professional-practices subcommittee—an increase of 28 cases since the previous year. The panel has heard a total of 485 cases over the past five years.
The New York State Education Department requires individuals to have the “requisite moral character” needed to hold a teacher or school administrator certificate. Under the law, superintendents must notify the department if a certificate holder is convicted of a crime or commits an act that raises questions about the teacher’s character.
Incidents that would call into question a certificate holder’s moral character include inappropriate relationships with students, sex-related incidents, and incidents involving drug or alcohol use.
The increase in the number of cases could be due to a heightened awareness of appropriate boundaries, better reporting by school districts, increased awareness among law-enforcement officials, and the requirement that prospective school employees get fingerprinted, the report says.
Vol. 26, Issue 26, Page 6