The Texas Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 7 (Bettencourt) on Wednesday, March 8, which addresses improper relationships between educators and students. The bill would create criminal liability for superintendents and principals who fail to report any instance of an educator who is terminated when there is evidence that misconduct with a student occurred.
Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) said many teachers involved in these situations remain in schools because administrators “pass the trash.” The bill would allow administrators who fail to report to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or a state jail felony if they intentionally do not report an incident.
The Senate approved an amendment by Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) that would revoke state pensions from educators who are found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child, an improper relationship between an educator and student, or sexual assault. The amendment does provide for returning pensions to educators who are found to be innocent or whose convictions are overturned. The bill now heads to the House for consideration in committee.