Colorado: Tell parents of teacher’s arrest?

Colorado parents  must be told if a school staffer is arrested on felony charges or for any sex or drug offense, under a regulation passed by the State Board of Education.

The law calls for notifying parents if the DA drops charges but — a puzzling omission — not if the teacher is acquitted.

The Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, is challenging the regulation in court.

As the union points out, not everyone arrested for a crime is guilty.

My niece’s sixth-grade teacher, a man, left a few months before the end of the school year. Parents weren’t told why and nobody’s produced a shred of informtion. The rumors have gone wild. The teacher’s name is mud.

A new company now publishes arrests that have been posted online — but will supress the arrest record and clear the arrest from search engines for a $99 fee, writes Clayton Cramer on Pajamas Media.  It’s very close to extortion, but legal.  Career criminals won’t care, but the  person arrested once by mistake risks a potential employer, a landlord — even a googling girlfriend — finding the arrest record online with no explanation about dropped charges or acquittal.

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Comments

  1. I think it’s strange that they limit the charges to sex or drugs. Are other crimes less indicative of moral character or just less sensationalist?

  2. Ur, never-mind, I didn’t read the linking info. carefully enough or the linked material before hand.

  3. Aren’t all arrests a matter of public record? I can find the daily arrest sheet in the local paper.

  4. that website whoarrested.com makes me furious… as for the new law, of course they should wait until there is a verdict… innocent until proven guilty

  5. Soapbox0916 says:

    I just heard about something similar to this when I was at a regional homeless meeting last Friday. I am from Indiana, but the regional meetings also included agencies in Illinois and Kentucky. It was not about search engines.

    This program was about working with the courts in Illinois to expunge old records. In Illinois, a few courts have been very receptive to working with clients to seal old charges in a pilot program. It was $50 a pop to remove old charges that were either dismissed or found not guilty. It could not remove current charges or guilty charges. What I heard about was aimed at really old charges like five or more years outstanding.

    Working mainly with agencies that represent the homeless and the poor, having clients with a lot of charges that were later dismissed or found not guilty is rather common. I hate to say it, but where I live, certain sections of town get picked on frequently by the police, and therefore the people that live and/or work in those sections can easily pick up false charges too. I have seen “this pick on these parts of town” unfairly include false charges for teachers too. To be fair there are plenty of guilty people in the targeted sections of town, but many are just unfortunate to be in the undesirable sections of town at the wrong time.

    Problem is that homeless and poor people are the ones that can least afford paying $50 per charge. This solution still seems to favor those with money. So a flat fee of $99 might be a lot cheaper for many folks to start out with, even if it only removed from search engines and did not expunge the records.

  6. I’m not sure what I think the school’s obligation should be in notifying parents…perhaps it should be on a case by case basis.

    We have an online database in our state that goes back nearly 20 years in our state. Plus you can look at daily arrests. It has everything from traffic tickets, to more serious charges, and even records of child support payments. So if it parents are really wanting the information..it is there.

  7. Richard Aubrey says:

    Kate.
    Case by case equals discrimination. Some how. Some way.

  8. Michael E. Lopez says:

    The problem isn’t the availability of arrest data on teachers.

    The actual problem is parents who think that “arrested” ==> “guilty” and who don’t have the civic-mindedness to at least act like they aren’t jumping to conclusions.

    As for the Colorado law in question, it doesn’t hurt to make the data available, per se, but the fact of the law’s passage and implementation is making the actual problem worse.