Yes to penalties for misbehaving teachers

Leon County recently investigated 12 cases regarding teacher misconduct and wants to create tougher penalties for teachers found guilty of charges. An “Ethics in Education Act” is being made to address the surge in misconduct.

The act would toughen penalties on guilty persons, including teachers.

Some current allegations include voyeurism of women and young girls from the waist below, marijuana possession and driving under the influence. Under current legislation, school districts are not required to report such activities.

This behavior should not be occurring. Educators are held to a higher standard because they have a significant impact on youth.

Inappropriate behavior by teachers simply causes one to question their ability to effectively teach and provide a safe haven for children.

Anything that would cause harm to children, such as evidence of molestation, records of violence or a history of drug use should be investigated.

Questions have risen about what constitutes teacher misconduct. Jim Parry, chief of labor relations for Leon County Schools, said misconduct can vary from inappropriate language in the classroom to sex with a student.

A distinction needs to be made on these issues when the Legislature convenes to to address these penalties.

There also needs to be different levels of punishment for those found guilty of misconduct.

Mark Taylor II for the Editorial Board.