Gov. Janet Napolitano signed into law this week a bill aimed at closing the gap in a state notification system that allowed a kindergarten teacher to remain in the classroom for six months while facing child sex charges.
Rep. Bob Robson, R-Chandler, introduced HB2042 in February after reading two Tribune reports about Angela Csader, a 25-year-old Queen Creek resident who resigned from her teaching job Jan. 31 amid accusations of having sex with a 16-year-old Gilbert boy in 2006.
Napolitano signed the bill Monday after it quickly moved through the state House and Senate, passing unanimously. The law streamlines the notification system between law enforcement and school districts to prevent cases like Csader’s from happening again.
Csader, who taught at Anthem K-8 School in Florence, had sex with the teenager beginning in August 2006. They had sex at least twice more, records show. The boy also fathered her child.
Police learned of the situation more than a year before Csader resigned, and in May she admitted she had sex with the boy.
But the boy and his parents did not wish to press charges, which officials said delayed the arrest and booking process.
Csader’s case entered the courts through a process in which she wasn’t first arrested. Instead, her case was forwarded to prosecutors, who didn’t charge Csader until October.
Robson said the new law closes the gap with a two-layer approach that requires teachers to notify school districts of pending charges and requires the Department of Public Safety to inform school districts directly whenever an educator is arrested or charged.
State law requires teachers to get fingerprint clearance cards issued by DPS, which enters the information into a database.
So if a teacher is arrested or charged, the status as a teacher pops up in a check.
Until now, DPS notified the Department of Education, which in turn would notify school districts.
But DPS didn’t suspend Csader’s fingerprint card until Jan. 8, and it didn’t send notification to the Department of Education until Jan. 14.
The law also makes educators who don’t immediately report arrests or charges to schools guilty of unprofessional conduct, which calls for immediate termination and exclusion from future employment as a teacher.
Csader was sentenced last month to three months in jail by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.
She also faces 15 years of probation and must register as a sex offender.