You work hard to lead your team of teachers and make sure that the needs of students are met. Unfortunately, even though you try to be the best administrator every day, mistakes can happen, and false allegations can be made. What should a school administrator do if faced with a Department of Education investigation or discipline? Read on for advice from an attorney who represents principals, vice-principals and other school administrators.
What happens if a school administrator is accused of misconduct?
Depending on the type of misconduct alleged, most principals and vice-principals can continue working in their positions. If a school administrator is suspended, that would happen at the district level almost immediately following the misconduct. If the district does not suspend the principal or vice-principal, then they can continue to work until told otherwise by the district or the state.
What is the difference between a district and state of Florida investigation?
The district will follow its own disciplinary guidelines, hearing process, and conduct their own investigation. The state of Florida has a separate process. This means that a school administrator could face discipline twice – once at the district level and once at the state level.
What are some reasons a school administrator may face discipline?
- Reporting Criminal charges – Failing to report DUI’s, criminal traffic infractions, domestic violence, or other misdemeanors and felonies can get a school administrator in trouble. There are mandatory reporting guidelines and discipline can be given if they are not followed.
- Failing to follow district policy and procedure – There are several tasks a principal or vice-principal must be aware of and follow. If something happens and it was found a policy or procedure was not followed, disciplinary action could occur.
- State Testing Administration Errors – FSA’s, EOC’s, AP tests and more. These tests have a specialized criterion for administration. If staff that is supervised by school administration does not follow the policy, then the vice-principal or principal could also face discipline.
- Failing to report child abuse or neglect – there are mandatory reporting guidelines and if school administration fails to follow them, they could face district and state discipline.
How long does the disciplinary process take for school administrators?
The process follows the same timeline as teachers. The district has their own set of procedures that they will follow which could take some time. The state will also investigate the misconduct or accusation depending on the nature of it. The Department of Education could act quickly or take a while. Unfortunately, there is not one answer as the nature of the discipline impacts the length of the process.
Can you represent all Florida school administrators that are facing an investigation or discipline?
Yes. I help all Florida school administrators facing all types of disciplinary issues. They include certification issues, disciplinary action, as well as district and state investigations. Call me today for a free consultation and protecting your professional future. Richard Asselta is an award-winning lawyer who defends teachers throughout the state of Florida. Click here to read how he helps teachers with teaching certification discipline at the district and state levels, administrative DOE hearings, investigations, and denial appeals. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website.