New bill looks to track teacher terminations in Rhode Island
The bill is in response to the growing allegations of inappropriate behavior throughout multiple school districts.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A new bill that went through the House and now moved to the Senate tracks termination of teachers in Rhode Island schools.
As more Rhode Island communities investigate allegations of inappropriate behavior by school employees, state Rep. Joseph McNamara said this will curb that troubling trend.
The bill would ensure that tenured teachers who are released for “good and just cause” are kept on a list, overseen by the Rhode Island Department of Education. This would identify who was fired and why.
McNamara explained, “Worst case scenario is that a teacher has done something that is extremely inappropriate, doesn’t rise to the level of crime, but you hear through the grapevine that he or she is working at a school three towns over.”
The latest allegations include those in the West Warwick, East Greenwich, and North Kingstown school districts.
“This is something that protects the integrity of the profession, and it’s very important,” explained McNamara. “It’s important for parents and students to know that they have a highly qualified, highly effective, teacher in front of them that does not have a negative history.”
McNamara has over 50 years of experience as an educator in Pawtucket. He said this will monitor employees who are alleged of misconduct, even without a criminal record.
“Not all inappropriate behavior reaches the level of a crime. But, it’s still very serious when you have a teacher who should not be in the classroom teaching our kids,” said McNamara.