Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 12, 2015
Sen. Kyle Loveless
Senate votes to protect students from sexual
predators in schools
The Senate voted to protect Oklahoma’s
students by preventing school employees who have committed sexual
crimes against minors from seeking employment in other school districts.
Loveless is the author of Senate Bill 301, which will stop districts
from unknowingly hiring sexual predators, and keeping predators
from moving around the state to avoid detection.
Currently, if charges are filed against a school employee for crimes
such as sexual abuse, rape or exploitation of a minor, the District
Attorney will notify the applicable school superintendent and the
State Board of Education. The Board then can revoke or not issue
that individual’s teaching certificate or the district can
fire the individual in cases involving other school employees. Loveless
said SB 301 will address those cases where the victim does not press
charges against their assailant.
“Often times to protect their privacy and avoid further trauma
of facing their perpetrator in court, many young victims and their
families choose not to press charges against school employees if
they simply agree to resign. This allows that individual to move
on to other school districts without prospective employers knowing
anything about their crimes—putting more innocent, young people
in danger. This bill will ensure our State Board of Education can
keep track of these monsters so they can’t continue to work
in Oklahoma schools,” said Loveless, R-Oklahoma City.
Loveless pointed out that this bill is about licensure and not criminal
proceedings; those would still be handled by the local District
Attorneys. But the bill would ensure those predators are not allowed
in another classroom in the event the student does not press charges.
SB 301 would require local school district boards of education to
notify the State Board of Education within 30 days of an employee
being fired or resigning while under investigation for committing
a sexual crime against a minor. The bill also allows the State Board
of Education to hire someone to investigate such cases. This investigator
would work confidentially to look into accusations to verify their
validity and protect teachers from false allegations.
“We have an obligation to protect our children and their innocence.
They should feel just as safe at school as they do at home or church.
We should do all we can to keep sexual predators out of our schools
and this bill is another step in that effort,” said Loveless.
SB 301 is now in the House of Representatives for consideration.
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