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How tenure can help you as a teacher in Florida

If you've been accused of having inappropriate relationships with your students or breaking rules at the school where you teach, you could be in a position where you're likely to lose or be suspended from your job. In less serious situations, teachers without tenure could be at risk of dismissal, even if the case eventually works out in their favor. Things like arguments with parents or unusual discipline methods could be harmful for some teachers' careers, but once teachers have tenure, it's very difficult to remove them from their positions.

As a teacher, you have a number of rights that come along with tenure and even during the dismissal process. Most states protect teachers that educate students at public schools through the use of tenure statutes. Once a teacher obtains tenure, the idea is that his or her contract is renewed each year, and the district can only dismiss the teacher if there is cause. The school needs to show the reason for dismissal, must provide notice to the teacher, needs to specify the charges and give the teacher a hearing.

In some states, a tenure statute required teachers to stay employed during a probationary period after tenure is granted. Other states give teachers tenure automatically after a certain amount of time. As an added benefit, those with tenure have some protection against demotions, salary reductions and some kinds of disciplines that other teachers could still face.

What kinds of reasons could a teacher be dismissed for? Immoral conduct, being convicted of a crime, neglecting their duties, insubordination, fraud and noncompliance with school laws is typically enough to show a cause for dismissal. If you're not sure if your contract was breached, you may want to look into education law and make sure your rights have not been violated.

Source: FindLaw, "Teacher's Rights: Tenure and Dismissal" Nov. 19, 2014

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