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Viewing pornography at work could mean license revocation

A proposed bill in the State of Wisconsin could cause teachers to lose their state licenses if they're caught looking at pornography including underage pornography on their work computers. This means that even if criminal charges are not pressed against an educator, that individual would lose their job and be unable to get another one in the profession.

The bill is sponsored by a Representative who drafted the legislation after the state's Association of School Boards passed a resolution earlier this year. In fact, it was during that time that an administrator of a local school district was caught trying to set up a sexual encounter with an underage male, who was actually an undercover officer.

The bill is intended to clarify what the expectations are of school boards if an educator is caught viewing pornographic material on a district-owned computer.

Concern was raised because the administrator mentioned above had been caught viewing pornography on a work computer at an earlier date and no action had been taken. He was hired by a different district because officials did not know about the previous incident. Following the incident with the undercover officer he was fired from his latest position in the school district.

The bill would also further define what is considered "immoral conduct" under the current law. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction can revoke any license for immoral conduct. If the proposed legislation passes, the definition would also include the intentional viewing of pornographic material on a school computer.

In addition to its license-revocation clause, the bill would require the State of Wisconsin to publicly post the names of all teachers who have had their licenses revoked.

Source: Sheboygan Press online, "Teachers may lose licenses for porn viewing," Eric Litke, 23 March 2011

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