State Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Ashtabula) announces that her bipartisan student safety legislation, House Bill 403, has passed in the Ohio House. The legislation ensures that a teacher or school employee who retires while under threat of a disciplinary investigation or threat of termination will be added to the list of mandatory reports to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
“This legislation closes a loophole to ensure our students are safe when they go to school,” said Fowler Arthur. “Current law would allow a guilty party back in the classroom because no record of their alleged misconduct may be found. This bill works to see an investigation is properly conducted, and that appropriate documentation, with due process, is completed so that our students are protected.”
Essentially, the legislation ensures that a report is still sent to ODE regardless if a teacher retires or resigns while under a disciplinary investigation.
House Bill 403 requires that a school district administrator or superintendent of a chartered nonpublic or public school must file a report with ODE if a teacher has retired while they are currently under threat of disciplinary investigation. Current law only requires the school to report such a case if a teacher resigns, but not if they are to retire.
During committee hearings for the legislation, the Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers and the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence supported the bill.