By Bob Katzen 

The Public Service Committee held a hearing on a bill that would take the pension away from any teacher who is convicted of possession of child pornography. The bill was filed in response to a Supreme Judicial Court ruling that while this crime may be a sufficient reason to fire a teacher, it is not sufficient to warrant revocation of the teacher’s pension. 
  Current law provides that any public employee convicted of a crime “involving violation of the laws applicable to his office or position” forfeits his or her retirement allowance, and is entitled only to a return of his or her contributions without interest. The court, applying that current law, said that a conviction for the private possession of child pornography did not sufficiently “involve” the position of teacher to justify the teacher forfeiting the retirement allowance.
   Supporters say that this loophole must be closed in order to assure that justice is done.
   Opponents said the bill goes too far and wipes out a pension that the teacher has been funding for years

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