2020 Georgia Code
Title 20 - Education
Chapter 2 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Article 16 - Students
Part 2 - Discipline
Subpart 2 - Public School Disciplinary Tribunals
§ 20-2-751.7. State Mandated Process for Students to Follow in Reporting Instances of Alleged Inappropriate Behavior by Teacher or Other School Personnel; Notice of Process; Training; Investigations

Universal Citation: GA Code § 20-2-751.7 (2020)
  1. The Professional Standards Commission shall establish a state mandated process for students to follow in reporting instances of alleged inappropriate behavior by a teacher, administrator, or other school employee toward a student which shall not prohibit the ability of a student to report the incident to law enforcement authorities. Each local school system shall be required to implement and follow such state mandated process and shall include the mandated process in student handbooks and in employee handbooks or policies.
  2. If it is determined through the state mandated process established pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section that a complaint against a teacher, administrator, or other school employee is unsubstantiated and without merit, the local school system shall, at the request of the aggrieved party, submit a written statement to that effect to all local print and television media outlets that published any articles or reported any news relating to such complaint against the teacher, administrator, or employee.
  3. The Professional Standards Commission shall coordinate a training program on educator sexual misconduct. Such program shall be delivered by trained staff from the Professional Standards Commission, regional educational service agencies, and local school systems. The superintendent of each local school system shall ensure that all certified staff in its school system receive such training.
    1. The staff of the Professional Standards Commission shall be authorized, without notification to the Professional Standards Commission, to immediately open an investigation submitted to the commission by a local school superintendent, with approval of the local board of education, of a complaint by a student against an educator alleging a sexual offense, as provided for in Code Sections 16-6-1 through 16-6-17, 16-6-20, 16-6-22.2, or 16-12-100.
    2. The Professional Standards Commission shall have on staff a minimum of one investigator specifically trained in investigating educator sexual misconduct. The investigation of any complaint of sexual misconduct shall be completed in no more than 60 days and shall be presented at the commission meeting immediately following the conclusion of the investigation.
    3. If the Professional Standards Commission's review of the investigative report results in a sanction against the educator, the educator shall have the right to appeal the commission decision to a hearing before an administrative law judge within 90 days of such sanction.
  4. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to infringe on any right provided to students with Individualized Education Programs pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

(Code 1981, §20-2-751.7, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 214, § 2/HB 1321.)

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