2020 Georgia Code
Title 20 - Education
Chapter 2 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Article 17 - Teachers and Other School Personnel
Part 10 - Professional Standards
§ 20-2-984.3. Professional Standards Commission - Preliminary Investigations of Violations; Requirement for Automatic Investigation; Investigation of Sexual Offenses

Universal Citation: GA Code § 20-2-984.3 (2020)
  1. Upon receipt of a written request from a local board, the state board, or one or more individual residents of this state, the commission shall be authorized to investigate:
    1. Alleged violations by an educator of any law of this state pertaining to educators or the profession of education;
    2. Alleged violations by an educator of the code of ethics of the commission;
    3. Alleged violations by an educator of rules, regulations, or policies of the state board or the commission;
    4. Complaints alleging a failure by an educator to meet or comply with standards of performance of the commission or the state board; or
    5. Complaints alleging that an educator has been convicted of any felony, of any crime involving moral turpitude, of any other criminal offense involving the manufacture, distribution, trafficking, sale, or possession of a controlled substance or marijuana as provided for in Chapter 13 of Title 16, or of any other sexual offense as provided for in Code Sections 16-6-1 through 16-6-17 or Code Section 16-6-20, 16-6-22.2, or 16-12-100 in the courts of this state or any other state, territory, or country or in the courts of the United States. As used in this paragraph, the term "convicted" shall include a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought; a situation where first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; and a situation where an adjudication of guilt or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge or the charge was otherwise disposed of in a similar manner in any jurisdiction.
  2. The commission shall decide whether to conduct a preliminary investigation pursuant to this Code section within 30 days of the request unless an extension is granted pursuant to the procedure outlined in subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-984.5. The commission may appoint a committee of its membership with the power to transact and carry out the business and duties of the commission when deciding whether to conduct a preliminary investigation.
  3. When an educator admits on a Professional Standards Commission application to having resigned or being discharged for committing a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or being under investigation by law enforcement authorities for such conduct or for committing a breach of the code of ethics or for a violation of state education laws or having a criminal history or having had a surrender, denial, revocation, or suspension of a certificate or being the subject of an investigation or adverse action regarding a certificate, an investigation will automatically open without notification to the commission and with written notification to the educator.
  4. Notwithstanding the requirements of this Code section, the staff of the commission shall be authorized, without notification to the 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 or Code Section 16-6-20, 16-6-22.2, or 16-12-100.

(Code 1981, §20-2-984.3, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 750, § 7; Ga. L. 2002, p. 397, § 4; Ga. L. 2008, p. 125, §§ 1, 2/HB 250; Ga. L. 2009, p. 8, § 20/SB 46.)

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