You work hard – the type of teacher who cares for their students and plans each day to make it as educational as possible. One day, you make a mistake and the district disciplines your record. You think it is the end of the situation until suddenly, you receive a letter of investigation from the Florida Department of Education. What happens next? Read on for the answer from a defense lawyer for teachers.
What does a Department of Education letter of investigation mean?
A DOE letter of investigation means that the situation that occurred at the district level, has been reported to the State. The Florida DOE is now going to do its own investigation of the situation.
What happens during a Florida DOE investigation?
The DOE will take the investigation information the district gathered and review it. The DOE will then do one of two things: use the district information only or conduct further investigation on their own. Even if the District investigation resulted in no discipline, the Florida DOE is not bound by that decision.
The letter of investigation asks me to submit my own documentation for the investigation. Should I?
No. I always tell teachers that submitting documents to the DOE investigator is risky. Anything you submit directly can be used as evidence or testimony against you. If an attorney submits information on your behalf, it is not considered testimony or admissions.
What happens after the DOE investigation?
The investigation will either find what is called “probable cause” and issue an Administrative Complaint which starts an administrative process where the DOE will request sanctions against your teaching license or they may close the investigation.
How do I get the DOE investigation closed?
The investigative process is critical when trying to get an investigation closed. If an administrative complaint is issued, it is very hard to dismiss the case at that point. An experience lawyer for Department of Education issues is very important in the DOE process. From the beginning of an investigation, they will begin defending the teacher. An attorney can document your side of the story and present it to the DOE investigator in a specialized way aimed at minimizing the impact as much as possible.
Don’t risk losing your teaching license. Call today for a free consultation with a defense attorney for teachers.
Richard Asselta is an award-winning defense lawyer for teachers. He is experienced in defending all types of teacher disciplinary and misconduct issues including district based and state department of education teacher disciplinary action. Call The Education Lawyers today for a free consultation. Protect your teaching license and professional future. (855) 338-5299