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Copy of Template: Dusk to stars
Transcript of Copy of Template: Dusk to stars
Legal Issues - January 13, 2014
Director of Human Resources
Fountain Ft. Carson School District 8
Who Am I?
19 years in education as Director of Human Resources, Principal, Teacher and Substitute Teacher
Worked full-time in Colorado districts ranging from 300 to 7600 students K-12
President of the Colorado Association of School Personnel Administrators (CASPA)
Who Are You?
Welcome & Introductions
It’s safe to discuss issues without naming names
It’s OK to not know the answer
Cell phones on silent or vibrate
Take care of your personal needs
Lots of experts in the room – let’s learn from each other
It’s OK to tell lawyer jokes!
Norms for our time together
Know the policies of your district and adhere to them
Know the procedures and follow them
Avoid the trap of trying to be the attorney
You’re not in this alone; when in doubt, ask for clarification and assistance
C.Y.A. (Call Your Attorney)
Treat the student/staff member as you would want your son or daughter to be treated
Have a witness during interviews or hearings whenever possible or at least record them
Be prepared, be knowledgeable and don’t try to fake it
Document, document, document….
If it is not written down and can’t be verified, it didn’t happen.
Building Administrators Should…
My objective is to keep you out of court and in your schools.
What legal issues do you need to be aware of in order to survive?
Colorado Revised Statutes
Rules & Regulations
State Board of Education
Local Boards of Education
Handbooks, Codes of Conduct, Administrative Expectations, etc.
Development of Legal Practices
Probable Cause (Law Enforcement)
Reasonable Suspicion (Educational Standard)
Standards of Action
Policy JB “Equal Educational Opportunities”
Every student of this school district shall have equal educational opportunities regardless of race, color,
ancestry, creed, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability or need for Special Education services.
Policy GBA “Open Hiring/Equal Employment Opportunity”
The Board subscribes to the principles of the dignity of all people and of their labors. It also recognizes that it is both culturally and educationally sound to have persons of diverse backgrounds on the school district’s staff.
Therefore, the district shall promote and provide for equal opportunity in recruitment, selection, promotion and dismissal of all personnel. Commitment on the part of the district towards equal employment opportunity shall apply to all people without regard to race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, genetic information, marital status or disability, (American Disability Act ‘ADA’)
Anti - Discrimination
Anti – Discrimination
Interviews & Hiring
Equal Pay – Fair Labor Standards Act
Interviews & Hiring
Educator Effectiveness/SB 191
Others ? ? ? What worries you?
Topics to Cover:
FLSA addresses: minimum wage requirements, employee status, overtime requirements, child labor
provisions, and recordkeeping
Teachers are exempt (professional) and therefore not eligible for overtime.
However, our classified employees are not exempt and are eligible for overtime.
Compensatory (or comp) time
Events that could impact overtime pay:
Cross guard duty, lunch duty, coaching
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Eligibility: employed for at least 12 months
Leave is unpaid by law, but can run concurrently with an employee’s use of leave if the reason for leave qualifies
Permitted reasons for FMLA
12 weeks leave allowed for: birth of a child, adoption, care for spouse, parent or child with serious health condition, his or her own serious health condition, any qualifying exigency arising out of active duty in the armed forces
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
C.R.S. 22-33-105 through 22-33-106.5 regarding student suspensions/expulsions, disciplinary investigations and notifications
Know it like the back of your hand
Group 1 – 22-33-105
Group 2 – 22-33-106
Constitutional Right to Public Education
1. The Constitution of the United States does not address public education. As such, authority over public education is left to the States.
2. United States Supreme Court has held that, if a State creates a public education system, then children within the State have a constitutional right to receive that education.
3. In general, the government cannot deny a person of a constitutional right unless the person is proved with due process of law.
4. When they suspend and expel students, school districts (i.e. governmental entities) deny students their constitutional right to receive a public education.
5. Therefore, school districts may only suspend and expel students if they provide the students with due process of law. The question becomes: What process is due?
Student Discipline & Due Process
Elements of Due Process: ( for students and employees)
1. Notice – of the rules and consequences for violation of them
2. Reasonable Rules and Orders
3. Investigation – was a rule violated
4. Fair Investigation – fairly and objectively?
5. Proof – substantial evidence
6. Equal Treatment – rules and penalties even-handedly applied without discrimination
7. Penalty – reasonably related to the seriousness of the proven offense
Test – How would a “Reasonably Prudent Person in the Same or Similar Circumstance” have acted?
Board Policy JLF, “Reporting Child Abuse”
Any school employee who has reasonable cause to suspect that any child is subjected to abuse or to conditions that might result in abuse shall immediately report the situation, or cause a report to be made.
Nearly 1 million children are victims of abuse or neglect each year in the US, nearly 9,000 in Colorado alone.
Cost to society for the damage resulting from child abuse and neglect has been estimated at $24 billion per year.
Approximately 80% of all child abuse is perpetrated by parents or caregivers.
Use common sense and pay attention to your “gut” feeling.
Report, but leave the investigation up to DHS or police.
Supervision/safety of students is our first priority!
What is the expectation for supervising students?
Scenarios when a teacher…
Needs to use the bathroom
Needs to make a few more copies
Receives a personal text message or cell phone call
Is asked by the neighboring teacher to watch her class
You (or a teacher) put yourself in a negligent situation when you don’t provide adequate supervision and a student gets hurt
Policy GBAA “Sexual Discrimination and Harassment”
It shall be a violation of policy for any member of the district staff to harass another staff member or student through conduct or communications of a sexual nature.
A form of sex discrimination
Hostile Work Environment
Be careful with students – protect yourself & avoid compromising situations
Cell phones, texting and social media warnings to you and your staff
You are a person in a position of trust
Sexual Harassment & Child Sex Offenses
Acceptable Use Policies are in place to prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful activities by users online, prevent unauthorized disclosure of or access to sensitive information, and to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Examples of inappropriate activity on the district network, technology resources, internet, or email:
Accessing or transmitting pornography of any kind, obscene depictions, harmful materials, personal financial gain, etc.
Don’t assume privacy in regards to your email/tech use and don’t violate the responsibility given to you.
Educator Effectiveness C.R.S. 22-9-106
Formal process (EACH year):
Probationary teachers – Minimum 2 formal observations and summative evaluation report
Non-probationary teachers – Minimum 1 formal observation report and summative evaluation
Principals – Minimum 1 summative evaluation
50% Professional Practices/50% Measures of Student Learning (growth & achievement)
Daily interactions, staff meetings, collaboration, extra duties, etc.
Nonrenewal is a process by which the board of education implements its decision not to re-employ a probationary teacher following expiration of a one-year contract.
Requires statewide minimum standards for what it means to be an “effective” teacher or principal
Requires that all teachers and principals be evaluated at least 50 percent on the academic growth/achievement of their students
Prohibits forced placement of teachers (mutual consent)
Makes non-probationary status “portable”
Requires annual evaluation of all teachers and principals
Changes non-probationary status from one that is earned based upon years of service to one that is earned based upon three consecutive years of demonstrated effectiveness
Provides that non-probationary status may be lost based upon two consecutive years of ineffectiveness
Critical Effects of Educator Effectiveness
(i.e. Senate Bill 10-191)
Non-renewal is not the same as Dismissal, Transfer Or Reduction in Force
Other – what else worries you?
Video - Classroom Management
Video – Teacher w/ Sped Student
Interviews & Hiring
Follow policy and master agreements (if applicable)
Follow regular/routine procedures
Skipping steps will get you in trouble
Be fair and consistent
Don’t make promises that preempt the hiring process
Make sure that hiring committee understands the do’s and don’ts of interviewing (discriminatory questions, note taking, etc.)
In most districts, the actual job offer and salary placement are HR functions. Again don’t promise things that are not in your realm of responsibility.