KIYC: Watchdog report suggests law meant to protect students from predator teachers isn’t working

The state Commission of Investigation found the law depends too heavily on the abusers to disclose their own misconduct to their new employers.

Matt Trapani and Walt Kane

Mar 7, 2024, 3:17 AM

Updated 47 days ago

Share:

A new report from the state Commission of Investigation finds a law meant to protect New Jersey students from predators is falling short of its goal.
The practice is so notorious, it even has a nickname – “passing the trash.” It means school districts allowing educators who engaged in inappropriate behavior with students to simply move on to another district, that may have no idea about their history.
New Jersey passed a law in 2018 intended to protect students by ending that practice. But a report from the commission raises questions on whether the law is working.
The watchdog agency found the law depends too heavily on the abusers to disclose their own misconduct to their new employers. There's essentially no oversight to make sure the law is being followed.
The SCI checked a sampling of districts and found many are not complying with the requirements of the law. As a result, the agency says schools cannot be sure that the information they get about prospective employees is accurate.
The SCI recommends several reforms to better protect kids - including creating a centralized database with information about these employees' histories and past misconduct.


More from News 12