03/30/2011 - A new bill (A.B. 13) introduced in the California Assembly would expand prohibitions against sex offenders working in state schools. Under existing law, public schools may not employ anyone convicted of a sex crime or controlled substance offense unless the conviction is reversed or the charges are dismissed. The new bill would clarify that these provisions also apply to charter schools. The bill would also prohibit anyone who has been convicted of a sex crime, controlled substance offense, or violent crime from working as a volunteer in schools.
02/28/2011 - A new law (formerly S.B. 2015) in Mississippi prohibits bullying or harassing behavior in public schools. School employees are required to report any such behavior to school officials. Under the new law, all schools must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment.
12/23/2010 - A new law (previously H.B. 4647) in Illinois requires that the Chicago school system establish a violence-prevention hotline. The hotline will be developed in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department, and each call that comes in to the hotline will be answered by police department staff. Police will be required to record and investigate each call.
12/23/2010 - The Lower Merion (Pennsylvania) School District has agreed to pay $610,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by students who claimed that district employees spied on the students using two-way Webcams that were incorporated into school-issued laptops.
08/31/2010 - A Colorado state law allows students to carry concealed weapons at the University of Colorado, according to a state appeals court. The court noted that the statute does not list public universities in its list of exceptions. Read the decision.
07/28/2010 - A new Alabama law (formerly H.B. 37) will allow the state superintendent of education to revoke the teaching certificate of any teacher convicted of felony sex offenses or sexual abuse of a child. Under the law, if such a conviction is overturned, the certificate will be reinstated and the local board of education may choose to return the teacher to his or her previous position. Even if the teacher is not rehired, he or she will receive back pay and benefits.
07/28/2010 - More than a quarter of the staff at schools and colleges have to deal with physical violence from students, according to a survey by the Association for Teachers and Lecturers in the United Kingdom. Read the full report for more findings.