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Pa. Senate Passes 2 Bills To Prevent Child Abuse By Teachers

(The Pennsylvania Capitol. Credit: Getty Images)

(The Pennsylvania Capitol. Credit: Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The state Senate has sent the House a pair of bills designed to protect school children from misconduct and sexual abuse by teachers.

One bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Anthony Williams of Philadelphia, would close a loophole that allows school districts to hire employees despite a history of investigations, discipline or dismissals for abuse or sexual misconduct.

Williams cited the example of an educator who killed a 12-year-old boy in West Virginia, despite having been fired for molesting students at a school in Delaware County, “His well documented history of going from school district to school district — the school district being well aware of the potential consequences of his activity.”

The other bill passed by the Senate would update the state’s policies for investigating and disciplining educators accused of misconduct. Both bills go to the House as state lawmakers consider a panoply of measures to protect children in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

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