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Connecticut Bill Would Allow Schools to Expel Sex Criminals

Connecticut Bill Would Allow Schools to Expel Sex Criminals

In Connecticut, a state senator is pushing for a new piece of legislation which would allow public school officials to expel students who had been convicted of violent sex crimes.  The bill was introduced after a constituent discovered that her children would soon be in school with a babysitter who had molested them.  The school district had no authority to expel him, or even hold a hearing.

“It’s a re-victimization of these kids and they shouldn’t be subjected to that,” said the senator, Kevin Witkos. “Not only have they suffered physical harm, but there’s also the psychological harm they have to experience every day.”

Because Connecticut’s constitution guarantees students a free education, they would have to be provided with an alternate means for education.  And students can actually be suspended or expelled for sexual misconduct committed on school grounds.  School boards can also expel students for selling drugs, weapon use, or gang violence.  But sexual assaults are not among the off-campus crimes for which students can be expelled.

Other legislators are concerned because the wording of the bill seems to make expulsion mandatory.  But it’s also unclear whether this will actually make a significant change to the existing legislation.  It’s unclear whether, under the non-mandatory wording, the victim would have to call for the hearing, or whether the school officials would be expected to keep tabs on every student convicted of sexual assault even if they don’t subject them to expulsion hearings.  The new proposal would apply only to students convicted of violent sex crimes involving first-degree rape, using a weapon to commit a rape, or kidnapping as part of a sexual assault.

And although it doesn’t seem to have been used in this instance, expulsion hearings can occur for any issue that is deemed “seriously disruptive of the educational process.”  Which surely includes a rape survivor having to try to learn with his or her convicted perpetrator in the room or school.

In other words, this seems like a fairly meaningless piece of legislation.  And although of course it’s always good for politicians to acknowledge that rape survivors should not have to work in close proximity with their rapists (something that is surprisingly difficult for some educators, as proven by the case of the cheerleader who was kicked off her squad for refusing to cheer for her rapist), this seems like a clumsy, confusing and even potentially damaging way to go about it.  In any case, though, the bill seems likely to pass.

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130 comments

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4:39PM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Why is a sexual predator in school to begin with??

8:47PM PST on Feb 23, 2011

How could a babysitter be in the same classroom with the children he has babysat? -- was a babysitter the same age as the children? Aren't there enough laws about crimes to cover this? I'm confused on this article.

10:14AM PST on Jan 30, 2011

Parents should get together and not let their children go to school (preventiv action) as long as a dangerous specimen is still allowed to attend.

10:05AM PST on Jan 30, 2011

Is there no law that declares it mandatory to protect children from dangers, of whatever kind these dangers may be ? For criminals there exists always paragraphs to there advantage. All there is needed is a good lawyer. But for causes without promotion and publicity in view, nobody seems to care.

2:34AM PST on Jan 26, 2011

It's sad that we really need a law to do the right thing. And even still, it's the victims that have to pull the school choice to attend a different school. The perpetrator should have to switch, unless the victims choose willingly to do so.

In the mean time, please keep signing the April's Law Petitions, to ensure our children are safe from sex predators on and offline.

Federal April's Law -
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/worldwide-petition-for-aprils-law-in-the-us/

April's Law Wisconsin-
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/aprils-law-wisconsin/

12:48AM PST on Jan 23, 2011

Hay. Zero tolerance. That's the law

5:34PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

for once someone is looking out for the victims

8:44AM PST on Jan 19, 2011

A remember there is also the possibility of home tutoring for sex offenders, at the very least when a kid wants to come to a school and they do have a record for serious sexual assault I think that there should be a law that should be forced to disclose information about the assault or abuse so the school can determine whether they're a risk or not. This article though isn't really all that helpful.

4:22AM PST on Jan 19, 2011

This new piece of legislation has its place in order to protect the rights of the victims. Each situation must be handled case by case so that somehow the heart of the matter is addressed, and there is justice for all involved.

2:13AM PST on Jan 19, 2011

Go for it. As the voice for the children, I approve this legislation. Please keep signing the April's Law petitions, and please mind you that there are 2, a federal version and a state version. Please sign both. This is for ensuring that sex predators will be punished for their activities on and off line.

April's Law Petition - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/worldwide-petition-for-aprils-law-in-the-us/

State April's Law - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/aprils-law-wisconsin/

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