Missouri ranked 11th Worst State in Nation for Educator Sexual Misconduct
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Missouri ranked 11th Worst State in Nation for Educator Sexual Misconduct

Date: November 14, 2007
By: Amy Becker
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: The Show-Me state was recently ranked the 11th worst state in the nation for educator sexual misconduct, prompting Republican St. Louis Representative Jane Cunningham to work on legislation to attack the problem.

Amy Becker has more from the state capitol.

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Cunningham says one of the main problems in the state is inadequate background checks.  Currently the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has not been requiring Family Care Safety Registry checks prior to employment.

Also background checks are not required to get a teaching certificate nor are there periodic re-checks of teachers after they are hired. 

Actuality:  CUNNING3.WAV
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Description: We will clarify that a background check means an open criminal check, records check, a check on the sexual offender registry and the child abuse registry.


To address this problem Cunningham says the bill will tighten policies, procedures and requirements to address problems and streamline reporting and registries with coordination between the Department of Social Services, the Highway Patrol, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker, KMOX News.

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Intro: St. Louis Republican Representative Jane Cunningham held a press conference announcing her plans to change the state's handling of sexual misconduct in educational settings. 

Amy Becker has more from the state capital.

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One problem Cunningham addressed is that there is no statute of limitations for rape, only for sexual misconduct with a minor which is in effect for 20 years after age 18.

Cunningham says she wants the bill to remove the statute of limitations for sexual misconduct unless there is less than a few years age difference, because she says it is wrong to call sex between an adult and a child consensual or casual.

Actuality:  CUNNING7.WAV
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Description: Many victims as you will hear when Amy comes forward are afraid to tell for years and even live with a lifetime of after effects and dysfunction.


Cunningham says in preparing the bill she wants to look into the liability of school districts and former districts within the context of mandatory attendance laws that force a child to be locked in an abusive situation.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker, KMOX News.

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Intro: St. Louis Republican Representative Jane Cunningham held a press conference outlining plans for a bill she says will fix Missouri's standing as the 11th worst state in educator sexual misconduct.

Amy Becker has more from the state Capitol.

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Cunningham said the goal of the bill is to strike a balance between security and justice for students and adults.  Also it will protect students from abuse and staff who may be falsely accused.

Cunningham also had Amy Davis, a survivor who lived through sexual abuse by an educator, speak about her experience and her mission.

Actuality:  AMY1.WAV
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Description: So I stand here today, to encourage other men and women who are still holding in their own pain, their own stories from the time they think they chose to be in a consensual relationship, sexual relationship with a teacher.....It's time to come forward.

Cunningham says one of the main problems with current sexual misconduct rules is the lack of needed information.  She says she wants the bill to require updates on all allegations of any educator reported to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker, KMOX News.