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Representative Cunningham Calls for Sexual Abuse Victims to Share

Republican State Representative Jane Cunningham of St. Louis County is working on legislation that would inform school districts about teachers who have been accused of sexual misconduct. She is asking anyone with information about sexual misconduct in schools to contact her office. Cunningham plans to hold a series of hearings about sexual misconduct in elementary and secondary schools at the beginning of 2008. KSMU's Emily Nash has more. (KSMU's Missy Shelton contributed to this report).

A recent auditor's report found that the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or DESE does not require teachers to have a background check through the child abuse and neglect registry before getting a teaching certificate.

State Representative Jane Cunningham is drafting a bill that deals with several issues pertaining to sexual misconduct in elementary and secondary education.

The bill would require DESE to maintain a list of teachers accused of sexual misconduct, even if no charges were filed.

The list would only be available to districts during the hiring process.

The legislation would require collaboration with several state agencies to share information about teachers accused of sexual misconduct they would have.

Cunningham says her bill would eliminate the statute of limitations for adult sexual relationships with a child.

To help construct the bill, Cuningham will hold a series of hearings starting January 16th about sexual misconduct in schools.

She is asking for past and present victims of sexual abuse, to share any information they have about sexual misconduct in schools.

She says that might be one of the reasons why Missouri is the 11th worst in state in the nation for educator sexual misconduct. That ranking comes from a recent analysis by the Associated Press.

Those who want to share information about a sexual misconduct incident can call the office of Jane Cunningham at 866 543 0420.