Why Do Educators Lose Their Licenses in Missouri?

For many teachers, their profession is not only their livelihood but also a part of their identity. The loss of a teaching license is devastating for these professionals. While teachers are fairly-well protected in their position, some do lose their ability to teach or have their licenses suspended. Educators who believe that their licenses are at risk should immediately contact an attorney to discuss the best way to protect themselves.

Causes for Suspension in Missouri   

In Missouri, it can be difficult to gauge why teachers in the state lost their licenses. While there are strict and in-depth background checks for teaching candidates who are seeking their licenses, the information about teachers who lost theirs is limited. The state recently received a “D” in a report carried out by USA Today on state’s procedures for looking into teacher’s backgrounds. When looking at Missouri’s database for teachers who were under disciplinary action, the reason for the discipline is not included.

The details are so slim that even one suspected rapist and murder’s license status only indicates that it expired, not that he is suspected of heinous crimes. When digging deeper into the issue, including looking at court documents and records recovered through the state’s Sunshine Act, reporters were able to discover the main reasons that teachers in the state faced suspension.

In analyzing records collected since the 1980s, investigators found 687 educators who had lost their licenses in Missouri, or who voluntarily gave up their licenses. The majority of the individuals were teachers. The leading cause of license suspension was sexual misconduct with a child, which accounted for 211 of the lost licenses. Another 108 also involved sexual misconduct. Fifty-five of the cases were misconduct of a non-sexual manner that involved a child.

Other reasons for suspensions included theft, breach of contract, assault, battery, and alcohol abuse. In twelve cases, teachers lost their licenses for murder or manslaughter.

What can an Educator do to Fight a Suspension?

When an educator finds his or her professional license is in jeopardy, it is important to address the accusations proactively. It is vital to speak to an attorney as soon as possible to avoid making any mistakes that will only make matters worse.

In many cases, the accusations are false or may be the result of a misunderstanding. The accused may feel that it will be easy to clear things up by speaking on his or her own behalf. However, no matter how certain you are that you are innocent, you must make sure that you protect yourself. In addition to finding an experienced advocate, keep all relevant documentation. Having any evidence that helps your case is important, so put all of it in a safe place so that you are able to provide it to your attorney.

Do not discuss the issues with your colleagues, friends, or anyone other than your attorney. Never speak to the investigators without having your attorney present, and do not turn anything over to investigators without consulting your lawyer. While you might feel that you have nothing to hide, misinterpretation can occur, and you might do further damage to your case.

Contacting an attorney is not an admission that you have something to hide. Hiring a professional to handle your case indicates that you take the situation and your career seriously.

If you feel that your professional license is in jeopardy, contact the seasoned Missouri Professional Licensing Defense Attorney at Sanger Law today at (785)-979-4353.