LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A proposed bill would tighten transparency requirements around teacher misconduct allegations in Kentucky, such as inappropriate relationships or the sexual abuse of students.
House Bill 228 would prohibit schools from allowing a non-disclosure agreement when a teacher is involved in sexual misconduct with a student. The intent is to make sure abusive behavior isn't kept a secret and to provide more transparency.
Kotomi Yokikura, a UK student and former victim of teacher abuse, spoke to Kentucky lawmakers about the issue Tuesday morning.
"The teacher who abused me did not stop grooming other students after his actions were first questioned," Yokikura said. "This bill is important because it can help prevent these teachers from being able to continue abusing students. I hope you support HB 228 as I have lived through the overwhelming fear and shame and the inescapable nightmares that result from abuse at the hand of a teacher."
The bill would also require teacher applicants to disclose they were subject of any allegations of misconduct that happened within the previous year, even if they weren't found guilty.
"I understand we're trying to find a balance between protecting our children and protecting the due process rights of our teachers," said Kentucky Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville.
Additionally, it also requires that school districts contact all of an applicant's previous employers for reference checks. And requires those previous employers to hand over findings of a misconduct investigation.
Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.