Senate Bill 2048 sponsored by Sen. Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville) unanimously passed the Senate on Monday night. The bill which was co-sponsored by all members of the Senate, will protect school children from sexual predators.
“The overwhelming support of this legislation sends a strong message,” said Sen. Woodson. “We are working to make Tennessee a safe haven for children and an unwelcome place for sexual predators.”
The bill will require employers that contract with schools or child care centers to conduct background checks on all of their employees who have potential contact with children. If any employee is found to be registered sexual offender, he or she would be prohibited from working on school grounds or child care center property when children are present.
The provisions of the bill will apply regardless of whether the employment was direct or through a subcontractor or subsidiary.
The idea for the legislation came from Sandy Loy, President of Construction Plus, Inc., based in Knoxville.
“Mr. Loy has had a strong protection policy at Construction Plus since 2002,” continued Sen. Woodson. “When he approached me with the idea, I was honored to sponsor the bill.”
The House companion bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on Wednesday. The bill must pass the house, and the governor must sign it before it will become law.