Passing the Trash: Why Sexual Predators Are Still Allowed To Teach in Our Schools

A Senate Bill quietly died in the dead of night in Sacramento, California sometime in the spring of 2018. Senate Bill 1456 (SB1456) by Mike Morell, which would have ended the practice of “passing the trash”, or rewarding teachers who have documented inappropriate relationships or disciplinary actions against them from being transferred to other districts, was laid to rest as the Senate Education Committee stripped the bill of its main purpose and forced Morell to abandon the bill in the amended, useless form.   

The amendment bill provided cover for over 250,000 school employees who still would not be covered by disclosure agreements. According to the statement on Senator Mike Morell’s website, he felt that the bill was stripped of its effectiveness and therefore did not pursue it.  

Why is this important?  What does this mean? Have you ever heard of the termPassing the trash? Passing the trash occurs when a teacher accused of sexual misconduct is allowed to leave a school – through a confidential separation agreement or other means – and quietly seek employment at another school without the new employer being alerted to the allegations, according to *S.E.S.A.M.E.

In many cases, the school administrator will also write a glowing letter of recommendation for the teacher (or other employees) to ensure that they will “get rid of” the individual. Disgusting, right?

As a result of this practice in our schools, students across the nation continue to be beaten, raped, and harassed by their teachers while government officials at every level stand by and do nothing. In an investigation done by a local paper, reporters uncovered more than 100 teachers who lost their licenses but are still working with children or young adults.  

Take a look at this case in California where 15 students came forward over the years, and they were ignored while the teacher kept teaching and violating students. Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. It happens way too often in our classrooms.

So who would oppose a bill addressing this dark practice at our schools? And why?

Many La Comadre readers know that I am not afraid to call out the ongoing shenanigans of the teachers union. This is one of those times. Clearly, California Teachers Association (CTA) is on the wrong side of the issue again. And it doesn’t even make sense. If CTA is encouraging strikes across the state to improve conditions in schools for their clients, the adults, wouldn’t it make sense to eliminate the people that are costing billions in settlements and litigation?  Obviously, schools would have more money if the districts didn’t have to pay these catastrophic settlements to kids who have been violated.

Protecting pedophile teachers doesn’t help the profession. If teachers are to be seen as professionals, they have to support more stringent rules and laws around who gets to be entrusted with children in a classroom. And a parent has the right to know if their child is at risk or in danger.  

And shame on the legislators that bowed down to CTA and threw more than six million kids under the bus to save their political careers. It is truly shameful that self-preservation beat out saving kids from being hurt.  

Parents need to speak up and demand laws that will help kids in the public education system.

*S.E.S.A.M.E. (or Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation) is a Nevada based nonprofit run by educators.

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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