Mich. sex abuse law leads to teachers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A series of Michigan laws to keep sex offenders and certain felons away from children passed in 2005 is leading to more teachers losing their jobs because of sexual misconduct.

The new laws were put in place after a 2004 auditor general's report found that nearly 200 licensed school workers had criminal records the state didn't know about, including convictions for sexual offenses.

Although prosecutors and school districts were supposed to notify state education officials of teacher convictions, that didn't always happen. Many school districts didn't do criminal background checks, at least not on staff hired before 1993-94, allowing convicted teachers to keep administrators in the dark.

Sine the new laws were passed, 18 Michigan teachers had their license suspended or revoked for sexual misconduct in 2005. In 2006, eight teachers had licenses suspended or revoked for the same reason. That number so far in 2007 is also eight.

Posted by LS

Associated Press contributed to this report.