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Convicted Criminals in Schools
Bill is sponsored by Representative Diego Hernandez

HB 2942 would create a pathway for individuals charged and convicted of crimes such as manufacturing and/or delivering hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and meth or prostitution—including crimes targeting children within 1,000 feet of a school—to be eligible to work in school settings.

Oregon House Republicans have called on lawmakers to reject this legislation that would open the door to convicted criminals working and volunteering in K-12 educational settings.

“Protecting our children is one of the most fundamental responsibilities we have as a society,” said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby). “This bill abandons that duty. We cannot throw open the school doors to those who have been convicted of serious crimes. Let’s help those who have made mistakes and are working to restart their lives, without putting the responsibility for that work on our kids.”

HB 2942 specifically prohibits the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, the state agency in charge of licensing teachers, from permanently prohibiting individuals convicted of certain crimes from working in a classroom setting. If the bill passes, Oregon’s youngest students could be in the care of role models who will guide their social and emotional development and stand at the head of a classroom with convictions that include:

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“I do not believe being convicted of these crimes should close the door to opportunity –but it should close the door to the classroom,” said Representative Kim Wallan (R-Medford). “The current standards protect our students and we should not change them.”

House Democrat Representative Diego Hernandez (D-Portland) is one of the lawmakers sponsoring HB 2942. Diego Hernandez was recently found to have created a hostile work environment for several women, and calls for his resignation have recently occupied the news headlines.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16 the House may decide to expel Representative Diego Hernandez.

HB 2942 has so far received its first hearing on February 11th, in the House Judiciary Committee.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-02-11 16:06:52Last Update: 2021-02-11 18:49:06



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