Abbott signs crackdown on inappropriate student-teacher relation - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Abbott signs crackdown on inappropriate student-teacher relationships

(Source: Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune) (Source: Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune)

By Patrick Svitek
The Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday signed into law a measure that aims to crack down on inappropriate student-teacher relationships. 

"Today, by signing this law, we're saying no more are we going to allow that to happen," Abbott said moments before signing Senate Bill 7 at the Texas Capitol. "Texas is going to impose real and stiff consequences for any teacher who dares have any inappropriate relationship with his or her students."

SB 7, authored by Republican state Sen. Paul Bettencourt of Houston, requires principals and superintendents to report cases of teachers having inappropriate relationships with students or face a state jail felony or a fine of up to $10,000. It goes into effect Sept. 1.

Last year, the state opened 222 investigations into educators having romantic and sexual relationships with their students, part of an upward trend over the past eight years. Bettencourt and others said a lack of reporting has allowed teachers involved in such relationships to get jobs in other districts, a practice known as "passing the trash."

Senate Bill 7 was a priority for Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who attended the signing ceremony Thursday. In his State of the State address in January, the governor asked lawmakers for legislation that "imposes real consequences" for teachers who assault students and administrators who stay quiet about it.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. 

Copyright 2017 The Texas Tribune. All rights reserved. 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Navy chief orders probe into Pacific fleet after collisions

    Navy chief orders probe into Pacific fleet after collisions

    Monday, August 21 2017 2:41 AM EDT2017-08-21 06:41:19 GMT
    Monday, August 21 2017 1:33 PM EDT2017-08-21 17:33:41 GMT

    American, Singaporean and Malaysian armed forces are searching for 10 U.S. sailors missing after an early-morning collision between a Navy destroyer and a tanker.

    American, Singaporean and Malaysian armed forces are searching for 10 U.S. sailors missing after an early-morning collision between a Navy destroyer and a tanker.

  • Barcelona fugitive shot dead outside city wearing bomb belt

    Barcelona fugitive shot dead outside city wearing bomb belt

    Monday, August 21 2017 3:01 AM EDT2017-08-21 07:01:17 GMT
    Monday, August 21 2017 1:33 PM EDT2017-08-21 17:33:21 GMT

    Spanish police are continuing the search for the man who they consider to be the final member of a cell that carried out vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a nearby town that killed 14 and injured more than 120 others.

    Spanish police are continuing the search for the man who they consider to be the final member of a cell that carried out vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a nearby town that killed 14 and injured more than 120 others.

  • Trump to outline Afghan strategy in national TV address

    Trump to outline Afghan strategy in national TV address

    Monday, August 21 2017 3:31 AM EDT2017-08-21 07:31:25 GMT
    Monday, August 21 2017 1:32 PM EDT2017-08-21 17:32:46 GMT

    Signs point in the direction of Trump continuing the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan.

    Signs point in the direction of Trump continuing the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan.

Powered by Frankly