FLORIDA STATUTES AND RULES
Florida Statutes s. 1006.061 states all employees and agents of the district school board, charter schools and private schools, have an obligation to report misconduct by an instructional personnel member or school administrator
Florida Statutes s. 1012.795 provides the Education Practices Commission the authority to issue disciplinary action against an individual’s Florida Educator certificate
Florida Statutes s. 1012.796 provides authority for the Department of Education to investigate and prosecute allegations of educator misconduct
State Board of Education Rule 6B-1.001 defines the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida
State Board of Education Rule 6B-1.006 defines the Principals of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida
HOW TO REPORT MISCONDUCT
- Report allegations or suspicion of misconduct by an instructional personnel member to your school
- Report allegations or suspicion of misconduct by your school administrator to the Board President.
- Document the activities or details of the event.
- Secure evidence (if applicable)
If someone tells you about misconduct, be a LEADER:
WHO SHOULD REPORT MISCONDUCT?
All employees and agents of a district school board, charter school or private school have a duty to report misconduct.
If you are aware of or observe misconduct, REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY!
WHOM SHOULD YOU REPORT?
- Classroom teachers
- Substitute teachers
- Librarians, guidance counselors and social workers
- Career specialists and school psychologists
- Principals, Assistant Principals and Deans
FAILURE TO REPORT MISCONDUCT
Possible penalties for instructional personnel or site administrators who fail to report misconduct may include:
- Written reprimand
- Suspension with or without pay
- Termination of employment
- Discipline/sanctions on an educator’s certificate
The following behavior may be indicative of misconduct that should be reported:
- being alone with a student in a dark or closed room or secluded area
- behaving in an overly friendly or familiar way or failing to maintain an appropriate professional boundary with a student
- using forceful or unnecessary physical contact with a student
- administering discipline not compliant with school policy
- accepting or offering of gifts for return of a favor or privilege from students or colleagues
- badgering or habitually teasing a student
- mocking or belittling a student
- chronically embarrassing a student
- displaying prejudice or bigotry against a student
- suspicion of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- failing to properly supervise students or to ensure student safety
- cheating; falsifying information; testing violations
- retaliating against a student or colleague for reporting misconduct
- bantering or engaging in colloquial or slang communications with a student
- directing or using profane, offensive, or explosive language in the presence of students
- making lewd or suggestive comments or overtures toward a student or colleague
Apply the litmus test:
- Do you feel uncomfortable?
- Do you question the person’s motives or actions?
- Are you unsure?
Protect the students and yourself- REPORT.
“By virtue of their leadership capacity, teachers are traditionally held to a high moral standard in a community.” (Adams v. State of Florida Professional Practices Council,406 So 2nd 1170 Fla. 1st DCA 1981)
Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by this chapter, or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Florida Department of Education
Office of Professional Practices Services
325 West Gaines Street
REPORT PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT TO:
The Movement School
Mrs. Grace MacDonalds
Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the 2008 Ethics in Education Act, please be advised that The Movement School operates under the following guidelines and laws:
Senate Bill 1712 (Chapter Law 2008-108), the Ethics in Education Act, became effective July 1, 2008, and impacts certain operational procedures for private schools participating in the Gardiner Scholarship Programs.
The Act amends Section 1002.421, Florida Statutes, related to participating private school accountability, by adding new requirements to the employee screening process. All instructional personnel and school administrators in a position that requires direct contact with students are subject to the new screening standards. The private school accountability statute has also been amended to require private schools to develop standards of ethical conduct for the school’s instructional personnel and administrators. Instructional personnel and school administrators are defined by Sections 1012.01(2) and(3), Florida Statutes.
Finally, the Act amends Section 1006.061, Florida Statutes, related to the state’s child abuse, abandonment, and neglect policy. Private and charter schools are now required to comply with these policies. An explanation of the new requirements, instructions for implementation, and links to additional resources have been provided for your convenience.
Participating private schools must disqualify from employment any instructional personnel or school administrator who is convicted of an act listed under Section 1012.315, Florida Statutes.
Participating private schools must conduct an employment history check before employing instructional personnel or school administrators in any position that requires direct contact with students.
Participating private schools must screen new instructional personnel or school administrators using the two employee screening tools developed by the Department of Education. New instructional personnel or school administrators are those individuals employed after the law became effective on July 1, 2008.
Professional Practices Database of Disciplinary Action Private schools should begin using this tool immediately to search the names of all instructional personnel and school administrators hired after July 1, 2008, and document the findings.
Participating private schools must prohibit confidentiality agreements with instructional personnel or school administrators who are dismissed, terminated, or resign in lieu of termination due to misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student.
Participating private schools must post a notice at the school stating that all employees have a duty to report actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
Participating private schools must post at the school site and on the school’s Web site (if applicable) the policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student.
All The Movement School faculty and staff with unsupervised direct student contact have been fully screened and background checked.
All The Movement School employees have been trained to recognize signs of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect, and have been advised as to their status as mandatory reporters.