Missouri SB 54 to be redefined
August 27, 2011
JEFFERSON CITY —Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield) issued the following statement on August 26, 2011, regarding SB 54, otherwise known as the “Amy Hestir Student Protection Act,” which was passed by the Missouri General Assembly on May 12 and signed by the governor on July 14. The measure was drafted to prevent sexual abuse of children in public schools.

“Senate Bill 54 was vital to protecting school students from sexual predators in our public school classrooms. Unfortunately, while constitutional, a small section of the bill relating to communications policies between students and educators or other school personnel has led to confusion in how it is to be implemented. We welcome the opportunity to clarify and remove any ambiguity in the law during September's special session. My office has been working with education stakeholders and teachers' groups across the state for some time and I am prepared to work with my colleagues to introduce and pass compromise language both protecting our students online, while enabling our teachers to continue to use technology as a teaching tool.”

“Studies show that Missouri ranked 11th nationally for educators losing their license for sexual misconduct. The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act will help prevent the sexual abuse of children by ending the practice of teachers with a history of sexual misconduct from moving from school district to district, without their prior record following them. I am confident we will build on this success that was endorsed by all education and teachers' groups and passed unanimously in both the House and Senate to develop strong, but reasonable strategies to protect our students from online abuses.”

Missouri Speaker of the House Steven Tilley asks "Did we pass that?" --but then he has developed a record of putting his foot in his mouth.

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