The South Carolina House quickly passed the key reading of a bill Wednesday that would require substitute teachers to receive background checks. Many school districts around the state already require background checks but some don’t. Bill sponsor Jenny Horne of Dorchester County says the requirement would create a uniform law statewide.
Democcrat Ken Kennedy spoke to the Republican on the House floor Wednesday.
(Horne,Kennedy and background check vote MP3 :45)
Horne- Kennedy and background check vote
There have been numerous cases in the state involving substitute instructors. A former substitute teacher employed by a Lexington County school district was arrested last month and charged with abusing four different boys over a seven-year period. Another substitute was charged with assaulting students in a Richland County classroom in 2006. That same year, a substitute in Oconee County was charged with interstate travel to engage in sex with a minor.
The bill was amended so that substitutes, like certified teachers, would not be charged for the checks by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
School districts can also use free access to a national registry that lists sexual predators, in order to check out all of their school staff as well as volunteers.