Tad Cummins still has a teaching license
Posted July 25
NASHVILLE, TN — You might think a teacher accused of a felony would be stripped of his license to be in the classroom. That's not the case for Tad Cummins.
News 4 has learned he still has a teaching license and it could be valid for another seven years.
Cummins is accused of taking his teenage student on a cross-country run from police to pursue a sexual relationship.
According to a spokesperson with the Tennessee Board of Education, the main reason Cummins still has a license is that he has not been convicted of anything yet.
However, officials say he admitted to having sex with his former student most nights they were on the run.
While Cummins will remain behind bars until his trial in January, the 51-year-old Maury County man still has a license to teach.
McKenzie Manning, a spokesperson for the Tennessee State Board of Education says the agency is recommending Cummins' license be revoked.
Cummins has the right to request a hearing, but he has not.
Even if Cummins' loses his license here, he could get another one in a different state.
Manning says the license will have a flag on it through National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).
That is supposed to happen with all educators that get in trouble with state officials. But in the last decade, thousands have slipped through the cracks.
According to a study published by USA Network in 2016, the names of least 9,000 educators facing disciplinary action were missing from NASDTEC.
At least 1,400 of those teacher's licenses had been permanently revoked.
The case of former teacher Stanley Kendall is an infamous example in a huge breakdown in communication.
In 2007 the Texas teacher admitted to the host of "To Catch a Predator" that he was chatting online with someone he thought was a teenager to meet for sex.
"I am not going to be in that chat room anymore," Kendall said to the host.
Kendall's license was revoked by the State of Texas the following year, but he still managed to make it into several Indiana schools as a substitute teacher.
Mistakes, like the Stanley Kendall case, are usually blamed on a lack of communication between states.
Despite many efforts by child safety advocates, the federal government plays no role in mandating background checks for teachers.
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