Governor Paterson and the NY State Legislature signed a bill on Wednesday making it illegal for teachers to have sex with a student. If convicted, the teacher's certification will be automatically revoked. The law became effective immediately.
The announcement came Wednesday that state legislators and Governor David A. Paterson have agreed on two pieces of legislation that were sponsored by State Senator Stephan Saland and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan. Both new laws will result in automatic revocation of the teacher's, administrators or other professional administrators certifications or licenses upon conviction.
The first law now makes it illegal for a teacher to have sex with a student. It will now be up to the District Attorney's office to "notify the State Education Department (SED) when teachers, school administrators or other professional educators are convicted of sexual offenses that require them to register on the state’s Sex Offender Registry."
As it stood, there had been no current laws in place to deal with an automatic revocation or to immediately terminate the teacher that's been convicted, and even though they still had to register with the Sex Offender Registry. This new law provides for these things as well as preventing any errors of misidentification.
“We have to do everything in our power to protect our children and communities from sexual predators. We’ve passed laws to keep sex offenders away from schools and other places where kids gather, and we’ve required them to regularly register with law enforcement when they get out of prison,” said Governor Paterson. “With this bill, we provide another tool to make sure that sex offenders are not in a classroom setting that may put our children in harm’s way. This legislation will close gaps that have made it possible for teachers who commit crimes to remain on a school district payroll or to be hired by another school district.”
The second law, now prohibits school administrators to engage in fraudulent schemes at the taxpayers’ expense. Any administrator found guilty of using their position to further line their pockets through misconduct, meaning the deliberate misuse or misapplication of district funds, will have their license revoked automatically. "This has happened too many times in the past," Governor Paterson added.
Both bills went to effect immediately.