Society expects teachers to set an example for their students. But teachers in Florida currently face increased public scrutiny from parents, students and the general public. In this type of atmosphere, an accusation of educator misconduct can put an end to your teaching career.
Teachers should understand the behaviors that count as educator misconduct
Educator misconduct refers to a variety of actions deemed either unprofessional or criminal. Educator misconduct includes actions that violate ethical standards or professional competency.
A variety of actions fall under educator misconduct
The definition of educator misconduct can seem broad. Observers may consider these actions to be examples of educator misconduct:
- Any conduct related to illegal drug use or abuse
- Sexual behavior between teacher and student
- Physically abusive behavior between teacher and student
- Falsification of licensure or certificates
- Engaging in illegal acts on school property
Misconduct allegations could result in probation
Any investigation into an accusation of educator misconduct could result in you being put on probation. During probation, you must follow certain rules or you could lose your license. Teacher license defense can be a complex and costly procedure, so you should make sure you follow these rules during probation:
- Notify the Department of Education’s investigative office.
- Make certain your immediate supervisor performs annual performance reports.
- Pay any administrative costs associated with your probation.
- Remain out of trouble with the law and school district.
You may face additional penalties
The investigation into your alleged misconduct may not result in probation. You may be fortunate enough to get by with a simple reprimand. Or you may face severe fines and either a suspension or loss of your teaching license.
You have the right to fight allegations of misconduct
You worked hard to obtain your teaching license. When faced with misconduct allegations, you have the right to legal counsel in order to protect your teaching license and reputation.