The School 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 Superintendent to the Florida Department of Education.
Reporting Professional Misconduct
District staff are required to report to the Superintendent alleged misconduct by District employees which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. If the alleged misconduct to be reported is regarding the Superintendent, the District employee shall report the alleged misconduct to the Board attorney. Failure to report such alleged misconduct shall result in appropriate disciplinary action (F.S. 1012.796(d)).
The Superintendent shall investigate any allegation of misconduct by District employees which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student, and shall report the alleged misconduct to the Department of Education as required in F.S. 1012.796, 1001.51(12)(b), 1001.42(7)(b).
Staff alleged to have committed such misconduct shall be reassigned pending the outcome of a misconduct investigation.
Filing a Complaint with the Department of Education
If it is alleged that an instructional staff member has committed a violation as provided in F.S. 1012.795, and defined by rule of the State Board of Education, the District shall file with the Department of Education a legally sufficient complaint within thirty (30) days after the date on which the subject matter of the complaint came to the attention of the District. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts that show a violation has occurred as provided in F.S. 1012.795 and defined by rule of the State Board of Education. The District shall include all known information relating to the complaint with the filing of the complaint. This paragraph does not limit or restrict the power and duty of the Department of Education to investigate complaints, regardless of the District's untimely filing, or failure to file, complaints and follow-up reports (F.S. 1012.796(e)).
Report of Resignation or Termination
If the Superintendent 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 Superintendent 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)).
Transmittal of False or Incorrect Report
The Superintendent shall not knowingly sign and transmit to any State official a report that the Superintendent knows to be false or incorrect.
Pursuant to F.S. 1001.42(7), a 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.
Requirement of Disclosure of Employee Misconduct
The Board, or any of its employees, may not enter into a confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student, and may not provide instructional personnel with employment references or discuss the personnel's performance with prospective employers in another educational setting, without disclosing the personnel's or administrators' misconduct. Any part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be enforced (F.S. 1001.42(6)).
Pursuant to F.S. 1006.061(2), 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.