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Protecting your job as a teacher from allegations of bad behavior

For many people, working as a teacher often proves to be a simultaneously frustrating and rewarding experience. Helping to educate children and teach them to think critically is incredible. You know that you are having a positive impact on the community in which you live and work.

However, low rates of pay, standardized testing issues and potential personal danger on the job all impact the happiness and success of many teachers in Florida. As if paying teachers less than many other professionals wasn't enough, the state also holds teachers to a higher standard than many other professionals.

Because they work with children, teachers have to hold licenses and pass background checks. Unfortunately, that licensing process could mean that a mistake outside of work could also affect a teacher's career.

The state encourages third-party reporting of issues with teachers

Teachers are held to a high standard on the job. They have to comply with all applicable rules and laws regarding how they interact with the children. They must also fulfill standardized educational requirements for the subject and grade they teach.

Beyond that, teachers must engage in continuing education regularly to maintain their licensing. There's also moral expectation placed on teachers that they will serve as a good example both in and out of the classroom. That moral expectation is a legal gray area that empowers some people to take action against teachers for moral issues.

Citizens have the right to report licensed professionals who engage in illegal or unethical behaviors. These could include questionable practices in the classroom, as well as bad personal choices outside of school for many teachers.

An individual with evidence of a questionable decision or mistake made by a teacher, whether it is drug use or public intoxication, could, theoretically, create issues with the state licensing board that cost that teacher their job.

Teachers have the right to defend their licensing

The good news for teachers worried about potential professional ramifications for personal decisions or legal issues is that they have the right to defend themselves in front of the state licensing board. Partnering with an attorney can help you if there are criminal charges related to your licensing issue.

Your attorney can help you create and execute a defense strategy that can help you avoid conviction or ensure a plea to a lower charge that won't affect your career. If you have already received a summons from the state licensing board, your attorney can help you present a response to them to defend yourself and your license.

Loss of your state license for teaching could prove devastating. The degree that you have likely will not transfer to many other jobs. Defending your license, as well as avoiding a criminal conviction related to any pending charges, are wise decisions for those who wish to remain teachers in the state of Florida.

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