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All California teachers know that having a sexual relationship with a student on school grounds is both a crime and will automatically put your California teaching credential as risk, potentially permanently. But if you are found to be having a sexual relationship with a student OFF of school grounds, do the same legalities apply?

Yes. The Education Code beginning with Section 44000 governs the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and teacher discipline, and misconduct is governed by the Education Code, beginning with Section 44240. “Sexual relations” are defined in section 44010 of California’s Laws and Rules Pertaining to the Discipline of Professional Certificated Personnel. The Commission states:

Whenever the holder of a certificate issued by a county board of education has been convicted of any sex offense as defined in Section 44010 or controlled substance offense as defined in Section 44011, the county board of education shall forthwith suspend the certificate. If the conviction is reversed and the holder is acquitted of the offense in a new trial or the charges against him or her are dismissed, the board shall forthwith terminate the suspension of the certificate. When the conviction becomes final or when imposition of sentence is suspended, the board shall forthwith revoke the certificate.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing can also revoke a teaching license for misconduct and unprofessional behavior:

Each city or city and county board of examination may for immoral and unprofessional conduct, profanity, intemperance, or evident unfitness for teaching, recommend to the city or city and county board of education, the revocation of any certificate previously granted by the board of education in the city or city and county.

But what if, when accused of having a relationship with a student, you just resign? Are you protecting yourself from criminal prosecution by resigning from your teaching job?

No! Because legally, if you resign, you will lose any protective shield from your “teacher status” and you will be now viewed by law enforcement and the courts as an adult interacting with a child (inappropriately). This is much more serious as you can be charged criminally with “indecent exposure”, “lewd acts with a child”, “statutory rape” among other potential sex crimes.

If you are a California teacher who has been accused of having a relationship with a student or students, you need to retain an experienced legal team who understands the legal issues associated both with defending your teaching credential as well as with criminal law. The legal strategy your team employs can lay a foundation for successfully reversing the suspension or revocation of your teaching license as allowable, one year from the date of revocation.

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 as well as criminal 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.