Teacher Misconduct is Not Always Made Public

Parents put a lot of trust in teachers. They put their most valued possession, their children, in the care of teachers and school faculty. In many cases the parents know very little about the teachers. In some cases, the parents never even see or meet their child’s teacher.

In most cases, concerned parents are very eager to meet and get acquainted with the new caretaker of their child.

With the important roles that teachers play in the lives of our children, we expect that the teachers would be honest, trustworthy, and dependable. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Teachers may be punished for sexual misconduct, financial misconduct, criminal actions, and other misbehaviors. These can cause disciplinary actions against the teachers’ licenses.

However, the records of these actions are not always made available to the public. In some cases, the teachers may choose to resign from their position. If no legal actions are brought against the teacher, there may not be a formal record of the incident.

In these cases, the teacher may apply for a new teaching job in a different area or state. If references are not checked out from the last job or if the teacher does not list the last teaching job on his or her resume, the new school system may not be aware of any previous issues. Therefore, the teacher may be hired for a new job.

Even if a criminal act was recorded, if the teacher moves to a different state the act may not be discovered.
Recently, one newspaper in Florida gained access to a confidential database of teachers who have been punished for various acts. The details of the acts were not listed. Up until the time that the newspaper gained access to the list, the list had not been made available to the public.

So how can you be certain that your child’s teacher is as honest and dependable as you would hope? I think that we have to look at this as we do any other person in the world that we meet. We put faith in our gut instinct and our Lord.

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