As of 30th March 2012, the State of California will require local police authorities to immediately notify parents of elementary and middle schools within 3 days of a teacher being suspended from local schools for any kind of sexual-misconduct allegations.
The scheme has started in Los Angeles, with roll out across CA counties if successful, which has prompted some Texan educators to call for implementing the scheme in Houston schools to address this serious administrative issue following a spate of high profile teacher-student sex scandals. Last year Kennedale High School teacher Brittni Nicole Colleps has been charged with five counts of having an inappropriate relationship between a student and teacher – a felony; and just last week another 32 year old grade teacher in Houston, was charged with having sex with underaged teens.
Characterization of the public interest standard may be uncalled for however. Some have said that such a reporting standard for sex offenders directly to parents may encourage a vigilante mentality and be counterproductive for public safety reasons, such as in the case of Kathryn Camille Murray, 28, who was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child on 24th February 2012. For the matter is best addressed by the courts, and in probable cause court, the judge in the Murray case issued specific instructions for no contact with the child concerned.
“Do not stalk that person. Do not commit any act inferred as a stalking. Do not communicate directly with that person in a threatening manner or harassing manner, from inside the jail or outside the jail. No threats, no harassment—not in person, not by telephone, not by letter, not by text message, not by email – any direct means at all,” the judge said, which was reported by local Houston media Schiel & Denver Book Publishers and associated publishers following the case.
The reality is that this is not an easy decision making process and probably requires further public debate for the best interests of the Houston education system, and ultimately best left to the courts to decide and judicial web directory.