Last month we posted about the Wisconsin school administrator who was arrested and charged with several sex crimes. Among these were possession of child pornography and the use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime against a minor. The man was fired from his job shortly after being arrested.

As a possible reaction to this incident Wisconsin lawmakers will be considering a new bill which allows specific punishments for those who view pornography in school or on school equipment.

If the bill passes the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) would be allowed to revoke the professional license of any teacher or staff member who views, downloads or distributes pornography on school equipment. The DPI could also post that person’s name online.

In many respects this proposed law is not unique to the field of education. It is perfectly legal for adults to view adult pornography in the privacy of their own homes, but viewing it at work is a whole different matter.

There is virtually no job where an employee would not be fired for viewing pornography at work. However, what makes this bill unique is that it would allow the DPI to revoke professional licenses of teachers and staff caught viewing pornography as well as publicly shaming them by posting their names online.

As we have said in the past, sex crimes are taken very seriously by the public and by law enforcement, especially if they involve children in any way. Even though viewing adult pornography is not a sex crime, viewing it in proximity to children is treated with the same scorn, even if children are not exposed to it.

Source: WBAY online, “Bill to Target School Staff Who View Porn on School Equipment,” Kristin Byrne, 24 March 2011

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