Reporting Professionals' Misconduct
The Board recognizes its responsibilities to effectively address employee misconduct and, where determined appropriate, to provide a measured disciplinary response consistent with due process. In addition, with respect to certificated and/or certificated professional staff members, matters of misconduct, including conviction of certain crimes enumerated by law and/or conduct which is unbecoming to the teaching profession, will be reported by the Director to the Florida Department of Education.
Obligation to Report Professional Misconduct
All employees and administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression, and accepting or offering favors.
Filing and Reporting Complaints with FLDOE
If the Director determines that misconduct by an instructional staff member who holds an educator certificate affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student and the misconduct warrants termination, the staff member may resign or be terminated and the Director must report the misconduct to the Department of Education in the format prescribed by the Department.
The Department shall maintain each report of misconduct as a public record in the instructional personnel’s certification files (F.S. 1012.796(d)).
The Director shall not knowingly sign and transmit to any State official a report that the Director knows to be false or incorrect.
Pursuant to F.S. 1001.42(7), a School Board member may not knowingly sign and transmit to any State official a report of alleged misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student which the Board member knows to be false or incorrect.
Disclosures and References
In accordance with Section 1001.42(6), Florida Statutes, neither the Board nor any employee of the Board may provide instructional personnel or school administrators with employment references or discuss their performance with prospective employers from another educational setting without also disclosing the personnel’s or administrator’s misconduct.
In accordance with Section 768.095, Florida Statutes, an employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
In accordance with Section 1006.061(2), Florida Statutes, there shall be posted in a prominent place at each school site and on each school’s internet website, the policies and procedures for reporting alleged misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student; the contact person to whom the report is made; and the penalties imposed on instructional personnel or school administrators who fail to report suspected or actual child abuse or alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel or school administrators