Rep. Linda Flores: Abusive Teacher Task Force

From State Representative Linda Flores Office:

(Salem) “We’ve begun our journey which will hopefully lead to positive changes,” said State Representative Linda Flores (R-Clackamas) after the first meeting of the Student Protection Task Force today. The bi-partisan group was appointed last month to look into teachers sexually abusing students and being allowed to continue teaching; a practice known as “passing the trash.”

“There are several places we need to dig further to find out what’s contributing to this disturbing trend,” added Flores, who serves as Chair of the Task Force. “This is a great opportunity to seal the cracks in the reporting law and do a broader review into background checks, training and other areas.”

The Oregonian newspaper uncovered dozens of cases where teachers accused of sexual misconduct signed secret deals and transferred to another school district. State Representative Brian Clem (D-Salem), the Vice-Chair of the Task Force said, “I’m very uncomfortable with these confidential agreements. It appears we have laws on the books to deal with this, but we need to find the loopholes and close them.”

Representative Flores pointed out, “several parents and others have told me how concerned they are about gaps in the law that allow teachers to abuse children and move on to another teaching job.” She is impressed with the level of expertise on the Task Force.

The members include Clem, who is a member of the House Education Committee and Representatives Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) and John Huffman (R-The Dalles); also on the Education Committee. Huffman served on The Dalles-Watonka School Board for many years and fellow Task Force member Representative Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio) is Chair of the Lebanon Community School Board. The Other Task Force members include Representative Deborah Boone (D-Cannon Beach), and Representative Tina Kotek (D-Portland).

The Task Force will meet several times from now until the end of the year in order to craft recommendations for the 2009 Legislative Session. The House and Senate Education Committees are also exploring possible reforms. This afternoon Flores pledged to work cooperatively with the other committees as they move forward in the coming months.

####

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 06:32 | Posted in Measure 37 | 17 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • John Fairplay

    Isn’t the solution to this problem obvious? In 30 minutes the Legislature could close the “gaps in the law that allow teachers to abuse children and move on to another teaching job.” This task force is intended only to delay a solution until the Democrats can figure out how to protect their teacher’s union friends. This is a great example of why people are so turned off to politics right now.

    • Anon

      In defense of Linda Flores –The democrat libs in salem are the ones who didn’t want to do anything about the teacher abuse problem. Since the libs are in the majority there was not much the Republicans could do but keep pushing the issue and at least they have a task force to write up new laws. Once that task force, which includes a few libs who actually want to protect kids, comes up with a list of changes it will be hard for the libs to say no in the 2009 legislature. The other alternative is for the Republicans do to nothing and let the libs come up with some stupid watered down solution that is nothing more than window dressing and they’ll take credit for everything in their campaign ads when they’ve actually done nothing and were the ones who were stalling to begin with.

      P.S. Linda Flores has been one of the most vocal legislators in the media and otherwise we’ve seen in a long time.

  • CRAWDUDE

    The teachers unions would never all the perverted teachers to be fired. These unions control the liberals in the government, therefore a lot of noise will be made but nothing will be done. The same exact situation arose about 10 years ago and as you can see, nothing was done then either.

  • John in Oregon

    The five steps of a government study group!

    1 Study the problem
    2 Misidentify the problem
    3 Apply an irrelevant solution having nothing to do with the problem
    4 Proclaim the problem fixed and ignore the results
    5 Take political credit in the media

    How did this work out for the meth problem?

    1 Study the meth problem round 1
    2 Identify home meth labs
    3 Put cold medicine behind the counter
    4 Proclaim the meth problem fixed while the growing meth trade is ignored
    5 The Governor takes a bow.

    This was followed by meth round 2

    1 Study the meth problem again
    2 Identify the problem as cold medicine
    3 Make cold medicine a prescription
    4 Proclaim the meth fixed while ignoring even more meth trade growth
    5 The Governor and Legislature take a bow

    • CRAWDUDE

      Bud, perfect analogies!

  • Anon

    Typical Linda Flores: all talk and no action.

    Thank goodness that she’ll be defeated this fall by Brent Barton.

  • Unrepresented in her own district

    Typical Flores, you can tell it’s an election year because that is the ony time you hear from her.

    Talk, talk, talk. She paints herself as a fiscal conservative and then has her senate pay garnished due to her and her husbands inability to manage their own finances.

  • David from Eugene

    Excuse me, while I interject a bit of reality in to this discussion. Firing a Teacher costs money, lots of money. In addition to the investigators, lawyers and administrators time and expenses there is the cost of paying a substitute teacher while the accused teacher is on paid leave pending the out come of the investigation and termination process. And should the School District lose, you can add in the accused teacher’s legal expenses and counter suit for defamation of character.

    On the other hand “passing the trash” is cheap, the teacher leaves the district and the district never says why.

    Now, I believe that from a statewide perspective, this is a bad way to handle a Teacher who abuses kids. But looking at it from a district perspective it makes good fiscal sense.

    So if we want to see an end to “passing the trash” we will need to provide School Districts with the money to pay for the termination process for teachers who abuse kids.

    • John in Oregon

      Let me see if I have this correct?

      The adults job is to protect the kids.

      It costs money to protect the kids, fight the union and fire the teacher.

      Adults don’t want to spend the money. At least not that way, they don’t mind spending otherwise.

      So the kids get to take it in the shorts…… Oh Wait … The teach already did that.

      Hummmmmm Is that what you call a win win situation?

      • David from Eugene

        No, I call it a lose-lose solution. But let me point out that school official’s primary responsibility is to the children placed in their care. “Passing the trash” does protect those children. What it does not do is protect children in other school districts and states.

        As to money, most school systems have more they would like to do then they have money to pay for them with, so choices have to be made. I can see the logic in choosing to spend limited money in the class room rather then in the court room, when there is another option.

        And to make something clear, I do not support “passing the trash” I just understand why it is happening. That is the first step in finding a solution.

    • CRAWDUDE

      I’m not sure where the reality you’re trying to interject comes from. I assure you its not based on any reality I’ve ever heard from.

      All the districts have to do is turn these cases over to the legal authorities and let them decide whether criminal charges are in order. It takes the districts and the unions out of the equation and puts it in the hands of those hired to decide.

      Paying off the victims and moving the teachers is not a responsible action, either legally or morally.

      • David from Eugene

        Crawdude—You are correct. “Paying off the victims and moving the teachers is not a responsible action, either legally or morally.”

        As to your solution, it works in those cases where the local authorities believe they can win. But it still costs the school district money. Because, unless you are proposing that the teacher continue to teach while under investigation, which I do not believe is the case, the school district is still obliged to pay him even if they do not put him to work in the class room. Remember, under our system of laws the teacher is innocent until he is found guilty, so if he fulfills his contractual obligations by showing up the school district is still needs to pay him.

        Your solution does not work in those cases where, while having a preponderance of evidence, the legal authorities do not believe they can meet the beyond a reasonable doubt standard of a criminal case.

        It also does not eliminate the risk to the school district of a defamation of character suit should the authorities fail to convict.

    • John Fairplay

      David, you must be a pedophile or a Democrat. They are the only ones trying to normalize the sexual abuse of children.

      • David from Eugene

        Wrong in all cases. Understanding the “why” of something is not condoning it. Understanding “why” is just a first step in finding a workable solution.

  • bama

    as usual … it is easier to blame unions for the problems then to really find a solution to this horrible situation. why is it … the gop cant help itself when it comes to union bashing … like a crack head who spots a pipe … dont stand in the way.

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)