Complaints about inappropriate behavior by teachers can be made by anyone to a School District. All that is required is a signed affidavit. Complaints can also be sent directly to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) in Sacramento. In addition, the Department of Justice will notify the Commission in situations when an applicant for a California teaching credential and/or credential holder is arrested and/or convicted of a crime.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in Sacramento is the licensing agency responsible for awarding teaching credentials to qualified individuals. And the Commission’s Committee of Credentials (COC) is statutorily charged with evaluating the moral character and fitness of all certificated teaching personnel in California. The COC is comprised of seven members appointed by the Commission for two-year terms including 2 teachers, a school board member, school administrator and three representatives from the public at large. The Division of Professional Practices (DPP) supports the disciplinary work of the Commission and the Committee of Credentials.
Once a complaint is filed, a formal review process begins with a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) followed by a Confidential Investigative Report (CIR), initial case review and then the formal review itself.
Consider this scenario:
Two teachers attend a student camping trip as a supervising chaperone. During the outing, the students engage in a series of pranks during which they make jokes of a sexual nature. One of the teachers jokes along with the students and subsequently, the other teacher files a formal complaint and the offending teacher is fired. Later the teacher is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and indecent exposure. The teacher is asked to appear before the Committee of Credentials to explain their behavior.
Should the teacher agree to appear before the Committee to explain his or her behavior?
No. The risk to a teacher in this situation is that the Committee’s proceedings are a legal hearing which will be conducted under oath and in the presence of the Committee’s lawyer. The Committee of Credentials will consider in its evaluation the nature and severity of the offense, its relationship to children and teaching, the recency of the acts or crimes and in the case of a prior offense, compliance with court sanctions, and any evidence of rehabilitation. The Committee only needs to prove probable cause in order to make a ruling which could result in the suspension or revocation of your California teaching credential.
If you are a California teacher who has been accused of or is under investigation for misconduct, you need to immediately retain an experienced licensing lawyer who can appropriately represent your interests before the COC and protect and defend your California teaching credential.
The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully represented a wide range of California licensed professionals including educators and teachers. We are experienced in handling all types of licensing issues. Let us help you protect your professional license, your reputation, and your livelihood.
For additional information or to schedule a consultation about your teaching-related professional licensing issue, please contact us today Toll Free at (877) 280-9944.