Oregon Expands School Staff Background Checks

Published: June 28, 2010

CORVALLIS, Ore.—A new law mandates that public and private schools conduct background checks with three previous districts the potential hire has worked for in order to eliminate sexual misconduct by Oregon school employees against students. It will take effect Thursday.

House Bill 2062  is in response to an illegal practice known as “pass the trash,” in which a staff member disciplined for sexual misconduct agrees to step down from his/her position if the school district does not disclose the incidents to future employers, according to OregonLive.com.

A 2008 investigation showed that 47 Oregon schools made “pass the trash” deals between 2003 and 2008.

The new law now requires students and staff to receive annual training on how to report, prevent and identify language and behaviors that are considered signs of sexual conduct. The new law defines sexual misconduct as being sexual in nature that is aimed at a student and creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive atmosphere that hinders a student’s performance.

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A tool kit summarizing the hiring requirements has also been sent to districts.

For additional information, click here.

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