'Do Not Hire' registry in Texas will show if employees had inappropriate relationships with students

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A second Houston ISD teacher faces charges after accusations he inappropriately touched a kindergartner. James Bradley, 39, went before a judge on Tuesday. The allegations surfaced last year at Foster Elementary. Bradley somehow got another job at Lockhart Elementary School and worked until his arrest.

Tuesday, former Kashmere Gardens Elementary teacher Raymon Williams is due back in court. He's accused of indecency with a student.

The incidents have left parents wondering how people are getting hired to work with children, despite a proven history of problems.

Until now, there was no central database for teacher investigations, leaving background checks solely to each school district. That means sometimes teachers whose criminal charges ended in a plea deal or settlements could go unnoticed and that teacher possibly landed a job they shouldn't.

Administrators in Texas now have a new tool to use when hiring teacher, created as part of the school finance reform bill.

The Texas Education Agency says the goal of the "Do Not Hire" registry is to further protect the health and welfare of students.

House bill 3 hopes to be the first tool to help schools make the right hiring decisions and cut down on the number of reported inappropriate relationships between Texas teachers and minors.

Between 2018 to 2019, the TEA tracked 442 inappropriate relationships in the state.

The registry would require schools to report to the TEA when there is evidence an employee was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a student. The TEA would then use those entries to create a one-stop registry of individuals who are not eligible for hire, making sure any teacher or employee who harms a child won't ever step foot into another classroom.

The registry also makes it clear to district leaders if a teacher is under investigation, the district cannot hire them.

Right now the registry is private and only visible to school districts. But in April, the TEA is launching a webpage that gives parents the ability to search the registry by name.

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