Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Columbus Dispatch article highlights ODE's notification system

The Columbus Dispatch ran a story today about the Ohio Department of Education's new system that scours Ohio arrest reports for licensed educators. The article is located at

The system, in place since August of this year, sends a notification to the Ohio Department of Education who, in turn, notifies the educator's school district that there has been an arrest.

The article does not go into detail regarding the accuracy of the system or if any educators have been falsely flagged as offenders by the new system. Similarly, it does not go into any detail about whether licensed educators have been charged with crimes that the system did not pick up.

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3319.31, ODE can among other things, suspend, limit, or revoke licenses for criminal offenses listed in that statute or for "conduct unbecoming" of the teaching profession. Educators who have been arrested for any crime, even those not specifically listed in the statute, should contact an attorney familiar with school and education law in order to assess the situation and whether further action is needed.