The State Senate has passed legislation (S.189) sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) that suspends the pay of tenured teachers if they are convicted of possessing material depicting sexual performance by a child, use of a child in a sexual performance, or promoting a sexual performance by a child.
Under current law, a tenured teacher may be suspended and ultimately fired if he or she is convicted of a felony for the criminal sale or possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, or for a felony crime involving the physical or sexual abuse of a minor or a student.
"This bill broadens the scope for suspending a tenured teacher to include these very serious crimes," said Senator Larkin. "As protectors and advocates of children, teachers and all school employees should have the utmost moral character. Anyone convicted of a crime, especially a felony that relates to possessing obscene sexual material or promoting sexual performance by a child, should be nowhere near a classroom. This bill would suspend convicted felons without pay. It also adds more crimes specific to sexual abuse to the list of reasons for dismissing a teacher or administrator."
The bill was sent to the Assembly.