Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Discusses Explains—Teaching License Defense

The teachers I represent are extremely proud of being a member of this noble profession. That said, they also reiterate everything we all know about teaching. It can be thankless, challenging work for too little pay. In Missouri and Kansas, teachers sometimes run into another challenge—licensure issues. Too many teachers think that they can work through discipline and licensure issues by “being helpful” and providing information to the school district or state investigators; this is a horrible mistake that could cost you your career. If you are licensed teacher in Kansas or Missouri facing an investigation or disciplinary action, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Your career is at risk and you cannot work your way through this alone.

Common Misconduct Allegations in Kansas and Missouri

Unfortunately, teachers are particularly susceptible to misconduct allegations. They are often forced to make disciplinary decisions about students; in turn, false allegations arise in retaliation. Students and parent have a unique ability to raise these concerns, as teachers often work with students without any other adult witness present. Without that sort of credible witness testimony, disproving an allegation becomes challenging.

In my practice, I most frequently see the following allegations:

Sexual misconduct—any sexual contact between a teacher and a student is inappropriate. That said, otherwise innocuous pats on the back and friendly hugs can easily be construed as sexual misconduct later. Given with how justifiably serious this sort of behavior is taken, any allegation of sexual misconduct must be addressed immediately, as they frequently result in loss of a teaching license.

Physical abuse of students—for reasons similar to sexual abuse, physical abuse—hitting or corporal punishment—is taken very seriously and is quite difficult to disprove.

Drug and alcohol abuse—alcoholism, DUI, and being under the influence in the school environment are all allegations that can cost a teacher his or her license. As opposed to the prior two categories, however, they are easier to challenge with the help of an experienced licensure attorney.

Misuse of school property or privileges—I frequently represent teachers accused of taking school property for their own use. This can be innocuous activity, such as tutoring students on school property for pay, or more nefarious, such as theft of school supplies or vehicles.

Sharing or using students’ confidential information—allegations that you shared a student’s confidential information, or that you used it for your own gain, are serious.  There are federal laws protecting student educational records, most notably FERPA.

If any of these allegations are made against you, your license is in jeopardy. Your license is your property, and the U.S., Kansas, and Missouri Constitutions all provide you a right to “due process” before the government takes your property—your teaching license—from you.  Due process means that you have a right to review all evidence against you, to challenge that evidence, and a hearing to state your position. Having an attorney by your side to protect your due process interests is vital.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

Any Kansas or Missouri teacher contacted by the local or state board of education about misconduct should contact experienced counsel immediately. Your license is in jeopardy, and these initial moments are crucial. Trying to be helpful or “playing along” may seem like the easy way to go, but it may not be in your best interest. You have no obligation to speak to anyone without counsel present, and speaking to an investigator without counsel may be a fatal error. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through this process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your students suspension or revocation of your license.

If you are a teacher in Kansas or Missouri and are worried about misconduct costing you your career, call attorney Sanger now.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend you. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with licensing issues.