22 Jan 18

440.55 Notice to education department where a licensed professional has been convicted of a felony

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Last Updated on: 3rd August 2023, 10:43 pm

In New York, it is the responsibility of the Department of Education to keep all students safe. With this role, it is vital for the department to receive notifications if and/or when a teacher is convicted of a felony-based offense. According to state laws, teachers aren’t allowed to continue to teach after a conviction. The laws are in place to prevent students from facing dire circumstances due to any unlawful actions of the faculty.

How is the Department Notified?

Schools and universities receive notifications via one of four methods. The state sends out a notification to the school informing the school of the conviction. In some states, the officer that arrested the teacher submits the notice. The office of the prosecutor may submit the notification or a search mechanism sends an alert directly to the school via network links.

What Convictions Require Notifications?

According to federal laws, any educator who is convicted of sexually-based crimes, child abuse, or any felony-based drug charges must notify their employer. Under state and federal laws, no party that is convicted of these offenses is allowed to continue educating children. Any school or university that allows a teacher to continue to work within the educational institution is in violation of the law.

The Screening Process

All schools and universities are required to conduct background checks for any educators to determine if the candidate has any previous convictions for sexually-based crimes, child abuse, or drug crimes involving children. Any failure to disclose information about these offenses are unlawful and could lead to further penalties for the candidate.

Registered Sex Offenders

As a term of their release, all individuals who were charged with a sex crime must register as a sex offender. The individual cannot live within 500 yards of any park, school, or establishment in which children visit frequently. This includes the acceptance of any job that may involve children at a school or university. Any violation of the terms could revoke the individual’s parole and lead to further criminal charges.

Sex Offenders from Other States

Under New York state laws and statutes, individuals who were required to register as a sex offender in another state are also required to do so in New York. The same laws apply to any individual who is seeking a teaching position after their release from another jurisdiction. While it is unlawful for an employer to ask a candidate directly if they have any felony convictions, it is also unlawful for the individual to fail to provide details about their current status. Any failure to disclose information to a school and/or potential employer that the candidate is a registered sex offender will result in their immediate arrest.

Revoking the License of an Educator

Upon their conviction of sexually-based crimes, child abuse, or drug offenses involving children, the educator’s license is revoked in the state of New York. The terms of their employment also outline provisions that prevent the educator from returning to the school in any job position in the future. Once the license is revoked, the educator cannot file for a new license upon their release from prison.

In most states, the individual must release information about why their teaching license was revoked in the state of New York. If they are a registered sex offender, the former teacher will not have the right to re-establish themselves as an educator in any other states.

In New York, the Department of Education and/or school administrators must receive a notification at any time that a teacher is convicted of a felony offense. Any felony offense that could place children at risk will lead to the revocation of the individual’s teaching license. State laws prevent convicted sex offenders, child abusers, and drug offenders from working in local schools. For more information about penal code 440.55 review local laws and statutes now.