July 5, 2016

Lawmakers Looking For Ways To Prevent Sexual Predators From Entering Hoosier Schools

file photo

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana’s largest teachers’ union says legislators should look at all school staff as they take steps to reduce sexual misconduct in schools.

That is the topic of an upcoming legislative “summer study committee.”

The legislature created the committee after a recent string of high-profile sexual misconduct cases involving school staff. Indiana State Teacher’s Association President Teresa Meredith says she hopes it will study how predators enter schools.

“I don’t know how we prevent predators from somewhere else coming into Indiana," Meredith says. "We have to figure out if there is some kind of a loophole like that and if there is we’ve got to close it up.”

She says all school staff, not just teachers, should be examined for histories of abuse and neglect.

State Senator Jim Merritt agrees. He says the legislature’s summer study committee will try and define the scope of the problem.

 "Are these isolated tragedies or something that is widespread throughout the school system in the state of Indiana,” Merritt says.

Merritt wants to increase reference checks and provide a way for staff to report misconduct anonymously.

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