CASB

Colorado Association of School Boards

Member Access



Newsletter Signup

Click here to join the CASB newsletter

April 29, 2011

CASB Legal Update logo

See the most recent CASB Legal Update regarding parental notification.

State Board of Education Adopts Rule Requiring School Districts to Notify Parents When Employees are Arrested or Criminally Charged.

Effective May 31, 2011, school districts will be required to notify parents when an employee, or former employee, is arrested or charged with one of the offenses set forth in State Board Rule, 1-CCR 301-38.

The Rule, adopted by the State Board of Education on April 13, 2011, requires districts to notify parents following receipt of notice that an employee or former employee was arrested or charged with any of the following offenses:
  1. Any felony offense;
  2. A misdemeanor or municipal violation involving unlawful sexual behavior;
  3. A misdemeanor or municipal violation involving children;
  4. A misdemeanor or municipal violation involving indecent exposure;
  5. Driving under the influence or driving while ability impaired, as defined in C.R.S. 42-4-1301, but only if the employee’s employment with the district includes transporting students via motor vehicles.
  6. Misdemeanor domestic violence, as defined in C.R.S. 18-6-800.3 (1);
  7. Misdemeanor sexual assault, as defined in C.R.S. 18-3-402;
  8. Misdemeanor unlawful sexual conduct, as defined in C.R.S. 18-3-404;
  9. Misdemeanor child abuse, as defined in C.R.S. 18-6-401;
  10. Misdemeanor sexual exploitation of children, as defined in C.R.S. 18-6-403;
  11. Misdemeanor or municipal violation involving the illegal sale or possession of controlled substances, as defined by C.R.S. 12-22-303(7), excluding an arrest or charge for simple marijuana possession;
  12. A crime of violence, as defined in C.R.S. 18-1.3-406
  13. Indecent exposure, as defined in C.R.S. 18-7-302(2); and
  14. Any felony offense in another state, the elements of which are substantially similar to the elements of the offenses described above.
A school district’s duty to notify parents applies to any employee, or former employee, who has (or had) direct contact with students. However, the duty to notify is only triggered when a district receives notice of an employee’s arrest or charge from the criminal justice agency; i.e., the sheriff or district attorney who took the action.

The required notice may be sent electronically or by first-class mail and must be sent within 24 hours, or the next business day, following receipt of notice from the criminal justice agency. The notice must be sent to the parents of those students currently enrolled in any school where the employee had contact with students and must be sent regardless of whether the actions giving rise to the arrest were undertaken while the employee was acting within the scope of their employment. The Rule also requires notice to parents within three business days after receiving notice that the charges against the employee were dropped.

The Rule does not require school districts to investigate or confirm reports of employee arrests. Nor are districts required to take any disciplinary action against an employee who is arrested or charged with one of the offenses listed in the Rule. Districts should contact legal counsel to determine the appropriate course of action upon learning that an employee has been arrested or criminally charged.

The Rule does allow the arresting or charging entity to request that a district delay its issuance of the notice. In light of the tight timeframes in the Rule, a district may consider documenting the date it receives notice and any agency requests to delay notification. The Rule does not include any sanctions for districts that fail to provide the required notice.

The Rule limits the specific content of the notice as follows:
  1. Notification of an arrest shall state:
    1. The employee’s name;
    2. The employee’s position at the school;
    3. Whether the employee is currently employed at the school;
    4. The length of his/her employment; and
    5. A statement providing that under state and federal laws, a person is innocent until proven guilty.
  2. Notification of a charge shall state:
    1. The employee’s name;
    2. The employee’s position at the school;
    3. Whether the employee is currently employed at the school;
    4. The length of his/her employment;
    5. The alleged offense as set forth in the charge; i.e., the violation of statute or code; and
    6. A statement providing that under state and federal laws, a person is innocent until proven guilty.
The notification may not describe the underlying facts of the case and may not disclose the identity of the alleged victim, if the alleged victim is a student at the school.

Finally, parental notification must be incorporated into school districts’ safe school plans and any written agreements with law enforcement officials, the juvenile justice system and/or social services.

CASB will be updating its sample policies early this summer to reflect the requirements of the Rule. As always, districts should consult with legal counsel to obtain legal advice regarding implementation of the Rule.