Thursday, February 3, 2011

Court upholds Board's decision to permanently revoke teacher's license

The Franklin County Court of Appeals this week upheld the State Board of Education's permanent revocation of a teacher's license.

In that case, two teachers had held a Christmas party in an area of a school buidling was not authorized to by the principal. Two students began boxing, with the knowledge of the teacher. One of the students was struck, was severely injured, and nearly died. The two teachers then allegedly concocted a story that they thought would keep them out of trouble. The teachers allegedly told students to lie to the principal if asked.

The principal then began an investigation. He interviewed students who were present during the Christmas party. The students stuck to the teachers' allegedly concocted story. Later, however, one of the teachers confessed the true story. However, the other teacher stuck to the original story. Both teachers later resigned, and an investigator in the Department's Office of Professional Conduct, Kelly Beall, was assigned to investigate the matter. As a result of Beall's investigation, the Board issued the teacher a notice of its intent to determine whether to limit, suspend, or revoke his teaching license.

Pursuant to R.C. 119.07, the State Board of Education must hold a hearing if a party requests it within 30 days of the mailing of a notice of intent. The notice of intent informed the teacher of his right to request a hearing, and it warned the teacher that if he did not exercise this right, the Board could suspend, limit, or revoke his teaching license in his absence.

After the hearing, the hearing officer determined that the inadequate supervision of students, among other things, amounted to conduct unbecoming to the teacher's position, and that the Board had grounds to sanction the teacher under R.C. 3319.31(B)(1) and Ohio Adm. Code 3301-73-22. The hearing examiner recommended that the Board revoke the teacher's teaching license and render him permanently ineligible to apply for any license issued by the Board. The Board adopted the hearing officer's recommendation. The teacher then appealed both to the Court of Common Pleas, and to the appeals court, both of which upheld the revocation.