Home >MSMA News >Legislature unanimously supports abuse reporting bill – September 14, 2018
Legislature unanimously supports abuse reporting bill – September 14, 2018
The Legislature Thursday unanimously passed a bill that requires school districts to notify the Department of Education when they start and complete investigations of staff around allegations involving inappropriate behavior or abuse of students and problems with illegal drugs and alcohol use.
The bill, L.D. 1924, An Act to Improve Information Sharing Relating to Investigations of Educators, was submitted just over a week ago by the governor’s office. It passed on the last day of a drawn out legislative session that was supposed to have ended in April.
It requires districts to report to the DOE within 15 business days of the start of an investigation into accusations that could reasonably be expected to affect a person’s employment. Those allegations must involve alleged illegal drug and alcohol abuse; physical and emotional abuse; inappropriate contact with students; stalking; and, other threatening behaviors.
Once the investigation is complete, the district must notify the DOE within five business days. The same notification deadlines apply to the DOE reporting to districts when the department initiates the investigation.
The bill also requires the department go through the major substantive rule-making process to develop rules for school districts to follow in implementing the new law. Those rules will require two public hearings and must be approved by the next Legislature before going into effect.