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What kinds of educator misconduct should you report?

Educator misconduct can be a serious concern for parents. A poor educator, or one who is violating the rules of the district, local or federal laws or taking advantage of students is a risk to all students in the system.

Misconduct comes in many forms and includes things like harming students or acting in a detrimental way. For instance, if a teacher cheats on a professional exam to get a higher score, this would be misconduct.

For parents interested in reporting an educator they believe has acted inappropriately, it's important to first reach out to the principal of the school district. The administrator may also be contacted if there is one in your district. If this doesn't help, then you can reach out directly to the school board, Office of Human Resources or the Office of Professional Standards.

What kinds of acts should you report?

Acts of mistreatment, like duct-taping a student's mouth shut, hitting, pinching, harassing or sexually assaulting students or simply acting inappropriately with them should always be reported. Err on the side of caution and report what appears odd. Stopping dangerous behavior promptly could prevent the victimization of innocent students.

If you find that you can't get an appropriate response to your requests for investigations for the reports you have made, you can talk to your attorney about other options. In some cases, suing the school board or filing a charge against someone who has violated the law might be an option. Remember that you have the responsibility to protect your child from harm. Taking action also offers protection to the other children who attend the school.

Source: Florida Department of Education, "What is Educator Misconduct?," accessed Nov. 23, 2016

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