Bill Text: TX SB7 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relating to improper relationships between educators and students and reporting of educator misconduct; creating a criminal offense and expanding the applicability of an existing offense; authorizing an administrative penalty.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 64-14)

Status: (Passed) 2017-05-26 - Effective on 9/1/17 [SB7 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB7-Introduced.html
  85R3686 GCB-F
 
  By: Bettencourt S.B. No. 7
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to improper relationships between educators and students;
  creating a criminal offense and expanding the applicability of an
  existing offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 21.12(a), Penal Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         (a)  An employee of a public or private primary or secondary
  school commits an offense if the employee:
               (1)  engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or
  deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is enrolled in a public
  or private primary or secondary school at which the employee works;
               (2)  holds a position described by Section 21.003(a) or
  (b), Education Code, regardless of whether the employee holds the
  appropriate certificate, permit, license, or credential for the
  position, [a certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter
  B, Chapter 21, Education Code, or is a person who is required to be
  licensed by a state agency as provided by Section 21.003(b),
  Education Code,] and engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse,
  or deviate sexual intercourse with a person the employee knows is:
                     (A)  enrolled in a public or private primary or
  secondary school, other than a school described by Subdivision (1) 
  [in the same school district as the school at which the employee
  works]; or
                     (B)  a student participant in an educational
  activity that is sponsored by a school district or a public or
  private primary or secondary school, if[:
                           [(i)]  students enrolled in a public or
  private primary or secondary school are the primary participants in
  the activity; [and
                           [(ii)     the employee provides education
  services to those participants;] or
               (3)  engages in conduct described by Section 33.021,
  with a person described by Subdivision (1), or a person the employee
  knows is a person described by Subdivision (2)(A) or (B),
  regardless of the age of that person.
         SECTION 2.  Article 42.018(a), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  This article applies only:
               (1)  to conviction or deferred adjudication granted on
  the basis of[:
                     [(A)] an offense under Title 5, Penal Code,[; or
                     [(B) an offense on conviction of which a defendant
  is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62; and
               [(2)] if the victim of the offense is under 18 years of
  age; or
               (2)  to an offense on conviction of which a defendant is
  required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62.
         SECTION 3.  Section 21.006, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b), (b-1), and (c) and adding Subsections
  (b-2) and (i) to read as follows:
         (b)  In addition to the reporting requirement under Section
  261.101, Family Code, the superintendent or director of a school
  district, open-enrollment charter school, regional education
  service center, or shared services arrangement shall notify the
  State Board for Educator Certification if:
               (1)  an educator employed by or seeking employment by
  the district, school, service center, or shared services
  arrangement has a criminal record and the district, school, service
  center, or shared services arrangement obtained information about
  the educator's criminal record by a means other than the criminal
  history clearinghouse established under Section 411.0845,
  Government Code;
               (2)  an educator's employment at the district, school,
  service center, or shared services arrangement was terminated and
  there is [based on] evidence that the educator:
                     (A)  abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act
  with a student or minor;
                     (A-1)  was involved in a romantic relationship
  with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or
  minor;
                     (B)  possessed, transferred, sold, or distributed
  a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and
  Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq.;
                     (C)  illegally transferred, appropriated, or
  expended funds or other property of the district, school, service
  center, or shared services arrangement;
                     (D)  attempted by fraudulent or unauthorized
  means to obtain or alter a professional certificate or license for
  the purpose of promotion or additional compensation; or
                     (E)  committed a criminal offense or any part of a
  criminal offense on school property or at a school-sponsored event;
               (3)  the educator resigned and there is evidence that
  the educator engaged in misconduct described by Subdivision (2); or
               (4)  the educator engaged in conduct that violated the
  assessment instrument security procedures established under
  Section 39.0301.
         (b-1)  A superintendent or director of a school district or
  open-enrollment charter school shall complete an investigation of
  an educator that involves [is based on] evidence that the educator
  may have engaged in misconduct described by Subsection (b)(2)(A) or
  (A-1), despite the educator's resignation from district or school
  employment before completion of the investigation.
         (b-2)  The principal of a school district or open-enrollment
  charter school campus must notify the superintendent or director of
  the district or school not later than the seventh day after the date
  the principal knew or should have known about an educator's
  criminal record under Subsection (b)(1) or a termination of
  employment or resignation following an alleged incident of
  misconduct described by Subsection (b).
         (c)  The superintendent or director must notify the State
  Board for Educator Certification by filing a report with the board
  not later than the seventh day after the date the superintendent or
  director knew or should have known about an educator's [employee's]
  criminal record under Subsection (b)(1) or a termination of
  employment or resignation following an alleged incident of
  misconduct described by Subsection (b). The report must be:
               (1)  in writing; and
               (2)  in a form prescribed by the board.
         (i)  A superintendent or director required to file a report
  under Subsection (c) commits an offense if the superintendent or
  director knowingly fails to file the report by the date required by
  that subsection. A principal required to notify a superintendent
  or director about an educator's criminal record or alleged incident
  of misconduct under Subsection (b-2) commits an offense if the
  principal knowingly fails to provide the notice by the date
  required by that subsection.  An offense under this subsection is a
  Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a state jail felony
  if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the superintendent,
  director, or principal intended to conceal an educator's criminal
  record or alleged incident of misconduct.
         SECTION 4.  Sections 21.054(d) and (e), Education Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (d)  Continuing education requirements for a classroom
  teacher must provide that not more than 25 percent of the training
  required every five years include instruction regarding:
               (1)  collecting and analyzing information that will
  improve effectiveness in the classroom;
               (2)  recognizing early warning indicators that a
  student may be at risk of dropping out of school;
               (3)  integrating technology into classroom
  instruction; [and]
               (4)  educating diverse student populations, including:
                     (A)  students with disabilities, including mental
  health disorders;
                     (B)  students who are educationally
  disadvantaged;
                     (C)  students of limited English proficiency; and
                     (D)  students at risk of dropping out of school;
  and
               (5)  understanding appropriate relationships,
  boundaries, and communications between educators and students.
         (e)  Continuing education requirements for a principal must
  provide that not more than 25 percent of the training required every
  five years include instruction regarding:
               (1)  effective and efficient management, including:
                     (A)  collecting and analyzing information;
                     (B)  making decisions and managing time; and
                     (C)  supervising student discipline and managing
  behavior;
               (2)  recognizing early warning indicators that a
  student may be at risk of dropping out of school;
               (3)  integrating technology into campus curriculum and
  instruction; [and]
               (4)  educating diverse student populations, including:
                     (A)  students with disabilities, including mental
  health disorders;
                     (B)  students who are educationally
  disadvantaged;
                     (C)  students of limited English proficiency; and
                     (D)  students at risk of dropping out of school;
  and
               (5)  preventing, recognizing, and reporting any sexual
  conduct between an educator and student that is prohibited under
  Section 21.12, Penal Code, or for which reporting is required under
  Section 21.006 of this code.
         SECTION 5.  Section 21.058(a), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The procedures described by Subsections (b) and (c)
  apply only to a person who is:
               (1)  registered as a sex offender under Chapter 62,
  Code of Criminal Procedure; or
               (2)  convicted [to conviction] of a felony offense
  under Title 5, Penal Code, committed against a [or an offense on
  conviction of which a defendant is required to register as a sex
  offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; and
               [(2)  if the] victim younger than [of the offense is
  under] 18 years of age.
         SECTION 6.  Subchapter B, Chapter 21, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 21.0581 to read as follows:
         Sec. 21.0581.  REVOCATION FOR ASSISTING PERSON WHO ENGAGED
  IN SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT. (a)  The board may suspend
  or revoke a certificate held by a person under this subchapter,
  impose other sanctions against the person, or refuse to issue a
  certificate to the person under this subchapter if:
               (1)  the person assists another person in obtaining
  employment at a school district or open-enrollment charter school,
  other than by the routine transmission of administrative and
  personnel files; and
               (2)  the person knew or should have known that the other
  person has previously engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor or
  student in violation of the law.
         (b)  The board may require a school district to revoke or
  decline to issue a school district teaching permit under Section
  21.055 issued to or requested by a person subject to board action
  under Subsection (a).
         SECTION 7.  Section 21.062(a), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  During an investigation by the commissioner of an
  educator for an alleged incident of misconduct, the commissioner
  may issue a subpoena to compel:
               (1)  the attendance of a relevant witness; or
               (2)  the production, for inspection or copying, of
  relevant evidence that is located in this state.
         SECTION 8.  Section 21.355, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (d) and (e) to read
  as follows:
         (a)  A document evaluating the performance of a teacher or
  administrator is confidential and is not subject to disclosure
  under Chapter 552, Government Code.
         (d)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school may
  give the agency a document evaluating the performance of a teacher
  or administrator employed by the district or school.
         (e)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a) and except as otherwise
  provided by a court order prohibiting disclosure, a document
  provided to the agency under Subsection (d) may be used in a
  disciplinary proceeding against a teacher or administrator based on
  a report submitted under Section 21.006 concerning an alleged
  incident of misconduct.
         SECTION 9.  Subchapter A, Chapter 38, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 38.027 to read as follows:
         Sec. 38.027.  ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION POLICY. (a) In this
  section, "electronic communication" means any communication
  facilitated by the use of any electronic device, including a
  telephone, cellular telephone, computer, computer network,
  personal data assistant, or pager. The term includes e-mails, text
  messages, instant messages, and any communications made through an
  Internet website, including a social media website or a social
  networking website.
         (b)  A school district shall adopt a written policy
  concerning electronic communications between a school employee and
  a student enrolled in the district.
         (c)  The policy adopted under this section must include
  provisions designed to prevent improper electronic communications
  between a school employee and a student.
         SECTION 10.  Section 39.057(a), Education Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The commissioner may authorize special accreditation
  investigations to be conducted:
               (1)  when excessive numbers of absences of students
  eligible to be tested on state assessment instruments are
  determined;
               (2)  when excessive numbers of allowable exemptions
  from the required state assessment instruments are determined;
               (3)  in response to complaints submitted to the agency
  with respect to alleged violations of civil rights or other
  requirements imposed on the state by federal law or court order;
               (4)  in response to established compliance reviews of
  the district's financial accounting practices and state and federal
  program requirements;
               (5)  when extraordinary numbers of student placements
  in disciplinary alternative education programs, other than
  placements under Sections 37.006 and 37.007, are determined;
               (6)  in response to an allegation involving a conflict
  between members of the board of trustees or between the board and
  the district administration if it appears that the conflict
  involves a violation of a role or duty of the board members or the
  administration clearly defined by this code;
               (7)  when excessive numbers of students in special
  education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, are assessed
  through assessment instruments developed or adopted under Section
  39.023(b);
               (8)  in response to an allegation regarding or an
  analysis using a statistical method result indicating a possible
  violation of an assessment instrument security procedure
  established under Section 39.0301, including for the purpose of
  investigating or auditing a school district under that section;
               (9)  when a significant pattern of decreased academic
  performance has developed as a result of the promotion in the
  preceding two school years of students who did not perform
  satisfactorily as determined by the commissioner under Section
  39.0241(a) on assessment instruments administered under Section
  39.023(a), (c), or (l);
               (10)  when excessive numbers of students eligible to
  enroll fail to complete an Algebra II course or any other advanced
  course as determined by the commissioner;
               (11)  when resource allocation practices as evaluated
  under Section 39.0821 indicate a potential for significant
  improvement in resource allocation;
               (12)  when a disproportionate number of students of a
  particular demographic group is graduating with a particular
  endorsement under Section 28.025(c-1);
               (13)  when an excessive number of students is
  graduating with a particular endorsement under Section
  28.025(c-1);
               (14)  in response to a complaint submitted to the
  agency with respect to alleged inaccurate data that is reported
  through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS)
  or through other reports required by state or federal law or rule or
  court order and that is used by the agency to make a determination
  relating to public school accountability, including accreditation,
  under this chapter; [or]
               (15)  when a school district for any reason fails to
  produce, at the request of the agency, evidence or an investigation
  report relating to an educator who is under investigation by the
  State Board for Educator Certification; or
               (16)  as the commissioner otherwise determines
  necessary.
         SECTION 11.  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  21.12, Penal Code, applies only to an offense committed on or after
  the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense
  was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element
  of the offense was committed before that date.
         SECTION 12.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
feedback