New California Law Adds to List of Sex Offenses Affecting Teacher Credentialing and Employment

California has taken an important step in protecting students from being subjected to sexual misconduct by teachers. Recently, the California legislature enacted AB 872, which makes all sex offenses that require registration as a sex offender now also result in the immediate suspension of a teacher’s credential. The bill amends Education Code Section 44010 to add Penal Code Section 288.2, which relates to the sending or delivering of sexual material to minors, and Penal Code Section 290(c), which lists the crimes for which a convicted person must register as a sex offender.

AB 872, which is effective January 1, 2018, will also require the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to deny or revoke a teacher’s credential and for a public school employer to deny employment or terminate classified employees for a conviction of any of the above crimes. In addition, certificated employees who are charged with any of the above crimes are now subject to the compulsory leave of absence provisions of Section 44940. The practical effect of the legislation will be to make it easier for public school employers to suspend and terminate such employees and keep them away from students who could potentially be harmed.

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