In Each Issue

Q & A

CEAI Members ask… The answers or opinions expressed in this article are not intended to render legal advice. The factual and legal issues in each circumstance must be considered and may require the advice of an attorney.

One of my students has accused me of publicly shaming her in class. Her mother now believes I am bullying her daughter and has asked for a conference with me and my principal. Can you give me some advice so that I don’t say something wrong during the conference?
I suggest spending time in prayer before the conference so that you can walk into the conference full of peace. Remember, you are a high-level professional who has done nothing wrong. Once the conference begins, focus on listening rather than talking. Let the parent rant without defensive interruptions. If you are told an apology may be in order, you can say you are sorry their child felt bullied because that was certainly not your intent. If any disciplinary action is taken against you, such as a letter in your file, contact CEAI so we can discuss your options.

I was verbally offered a teaching position in another district. So far, both the offer and my acceptance have all been verbal. I informed my principal of my pending job change, and I am now being pressured to submit my letter of resignation. Should I submit a letter of resignation prior to having a signed, written contract? 
Check your district's policy for the resignation deadline (often July 1st). If you don’t resign by the deadline, you may be forced to stay. But, do not be pressured into resigning prior to receiving at least a written letter of intent from the new district. A formal contract may follow later. However, if you do not have something in writing, you could end up with no position.  

I have monthly meetings with my principal, assistant principal, and instructional coach because I was placed on an improvement plan. So far, the meetings have been cordial, but I do not want to be caught off guard. Is it possible to have a CEAI representative attend the meetings via Zoom?
We could arrange to have a consultant available for a Zoom meeting. However, I do not advise it. Your administration will most likely see your insistence of having an outsider attend the meetings as adversarial, which could negatively affect the entire tone of the process. The best practice is to meet the expectations outlined in the improvement plan and take good notes of all that is said in the meetings. Your administration will say the improvement plan is to help you, but keep in mind that the plan could be used as evidence against you. If the improvement plan is used against you and results in a job action, contact us immediately so we can get you legal representation.  

I have received a reprimand that will go into my personnel file. I would like advice on how to proceed. 
If you feel the reprimand is inaccurate or more explanation is needed, we can help you write a rebuttal that can be attached to the letter of reprimand. You can email us a copy of the reprimand as well as a draft containing the information you feel the rebuttal should include. CEAI representatives will review, edit, and email our recommended rebuttal draft back to you.

I have a contract for a summer recreational program that was canceled.  Since I am under contract, is the district obligated to pay me?
Each district handles canceled programs differently. Some pay for all contracts issued (whether fulfilled or not), while others do not. However, if your contracted summer assignment was canceled before it began, the district has no legal obligation to pay you.

Submit: To submit questions regarding school law issues relating to religious freedoms to experienced attorneys, visit Ask an Attorney on our website. For all other legal inquiries, email To submit questions regarding educational issues to our experienced educators, visit Ask an Educator on our website.


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