Florida takes complaints against teachers seriously. According to Florida Statutes Section 1012.796, the Department of Education must investigate any allegation that might lead to license revocation or suspension.
A complaint against you puts your professional and personal reputation in jeopardy. The consequences of an allegation might follow you for years, even if you beat the charges. To learn more about defending your teacher license, see below.
Written notice of accusation
The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Professional Practices Services (PPS) sends you a written notice if they receive an accusation warranting the investigation. Remember that according to Florida Statutes Section 1012.796, the department must continue investigating an allegation even if the complainant withdraws their accusation or does not wish to press charges.
Evidence against the charges
After receiving the notice, you have 10 days to provide evidence against the accusation. This might be documents, witnesses or other exhibits that warrant a defense of your case. Next, you must respond to the allegations. The PPS will send another notice of the time when you can review the materials relevant to the investigation and make a response.
If, after this process, the commissioner of education believes sanctions are necessary, you might be able to choose the settlement option. This avoids an official hearing and allows you to negotiate terms you must comply with to maintain your license.
The procedure for complaints against teachers is long and stressful. Help yourself by remaining forthcoming with the Department of Education. Document any events that might be relevant to your case, and avoid speaking with law enforcement during the investigation.