Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, is proposing her plan to prevent child abuse in schools. The plan includes additional training for school employees and streamlining the license revocation process.
“No student can learn unless they are safe,” Ritz said in a statement. “As a lifelong educator, I know that keeping our children safe and healthy is a responsibility that our schools take very seriously. That is why the Department is expanding the services it provides to local schools and law enforcement and why we will be working with the Legislature to strengthen Indiana’s laws in the upcoming legislative session.”
The Indiana Department of Education wants to work with background check providers to get background checks offered to schools at a reduced rate. The department hopes a discount would encourage background checks for regular school and coach volunteers in addition to school employees.
The plan also calls for school employees to receive additional training to help identify children who may be abused, as well as what behaviors to look for regarding potential predators.
Ritz also wants to reduce the amount of time it takes to revoke a teacher’s license for educators convicted of certain offenses. Under current state law, a separate administrative process is required to revoke a teacher’s license after the teacher is convicted. Ritz wants a judge to be able to revoke a teacher’s license upon conviction.
Lawmakers will have the opportunity to consider the department’s plan during next year’s legislative session.
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