Receiving word that you are the subject of an investigation can cause shock and uncertainty. You might wonder what this reality means for your career and your reputation.
If administrators place you on leave, remember that you still have rights. Knowing your rights can help you advocate for a fair outcome, even as you await legal proceedings.
Despite any allegations, you have the right to privacy. Anyone working on the investigation should keep details confidential. For your own protection, refrain from sharing much about your situation with anyone, even family and friends. If approached by the media, redirect them elsewhere.
Allegations of wrongdoing can have serious repercussions on your teaching career. According to The Florida Department of Education, consequences of misconduct could include the following:
- License revocation
Given the seriousness of these consequences, you deserve the right to a fair trial. Seeing that you receive due process can buy you more time to strengthen your defense.
You also have the right to protection from discriminatory acts. At no point should the investigation shift because of discrimination against your gender, race, religious beliefs or sexual orientation, for example. If you feel that discrimination has impacted the outcome, you have the right to request an investigation of your own.
Teaching is not an easy job, and you could make mistakes just like anyone else. Regardless of public opinion, safeguarding your rights is something you actively can and should do. With the right help, you can make sure you receive civil and fair legal treatment during an investigation.