Webb says new state rules protect children - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Webb says new state rules protect children

There is a consequence for superintendents who fail to report a teacher to the Tennessee Board of Education when that teacher is suspended, dismissed or resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations: Superintendents could lose their licenses.

At least one Mid-South superintendent says it will help protect our children. Shelby County School Superintendent Bobby Webb says the Tennessee Board of Education rule won't change his policy.

"If we have a teacher who does something illegal or inappropriate that would rise to the level of them losing their license teaching, I've always reported it to the State Board of Education to follow up on," Webb said.

Tennessee Board of Education rules state a superintendent can lose his license if he fails to report a teacher who is suspended, dismissed or who resigns amid sexual impropriety allegations. Until now, there was no punishment for failing to report.

Webb says the punishment will keep our kids safer.

"If a teacher leaves during the course of an investigation, its still the duty of the superintendent to report this to the state board to follow up on it so that they don't end up teaching some other child in some other system," he said.

Webb says more needs to be done.

"My concern now would be people coming from out of state," he said, "Because you know, education is still left up to the states. Not all states will have these same requirements."

Until then, Webb says Shelby County will do extensive background checks on teachers, to make sure no one is hired that has slipped through the cracks.

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