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How to Handle Staff Misconduct
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How to Handle Staff Misconduct
A Practical Guide for School Principals and Supervisors

Second Edition

January 2003 | 144 pages | Corwin

Updated Edition of Bestseller!

"How to Handle Staff Misconduct has simplified the process with its step-by-step format and has removed a lot of the emotions that have previously gone into addressing staff misconduct issues. I've had occasions to put the steps into play and have found them to be logical and straightforward."
Anne Hutcheson, Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel
Bellefonte Area School District, Pennsylvania

"Lawrence and Vachon did an outstanding job of writing guidelines that deal with the core aspects of supervision and documentation without becoming embroiled in state law issues and differences. I wish that I had this book as a guideline when I became a principal. I would have used it to train new hires on my administrative team."
Mary A. King, Director of High School Services
Texas Association of Secondary School Principals

What administrators must know about staff misbehavior and the steps to correct it

Ever-changing laws regarding sexual harassment, teacher accountability, and safety in the workplace, combined with increasingly complex union contracts, have made the handling of staff misconduct a veritable minefield for novice and experienced administrators alike. Fortunately, this expanded and updated second edition of an indispensable resource will clarify all of the steps principals must take to ensure that their schools are run according to the policies and laws that govern them.

In clearly delineated sections, How to Handle Staff Misconduct, Second Edition, offers strategies that include managing excessive tardiness, insubordination, misconduct requiring suspension, and even criminal behaviors. Each section includes an outline of principal responsibilities, and common errors that can interfere with a successful intervention.

In addition, the authors demonstrate:

  • How to use progressive discipline to fairly correct unwanted behaviors
  • How to set up a school-level misconduct meeting
  • Why just cause is a key defense against legal backlash
  • How due process can avoid technical errors during a disciplinary action
  • Why privacy is paramount

Covering everything from the first day of school to the first sign of an infraction, this book guides administrators through all phases of investigation and documentation, and remains an essential resource for any principal or supervisor trying to keep students and staff focused on education.


 
List of Progressive Discipline Charts
 
A Cautionary Note
 
Preface
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
 
Part I: General Procedures to Handle Misconduct
 
1. Strategies to Handle Misconduct
Just Cause

 
Due Process

 
Progressive Discipline

 
 
2. The Misconduct Investigation
Victim/Witness Statement Form

 
Diagram of the Human Body

 
Police Records

 
Photographs and Videotaping

 
 
3. School-Level Misconduct Meeting
 
Part II: Administrative Misconduct Handled by the Principal
 
4. Unexcused Absence and Excessive Tardiness
 
5. Neglect of Duty
 
6. Abuse, Insulting, or Profane Language
 
7. Corporal Punishment
 
8. Insubordination
 
Part III: Serious Misconduct Requiring Immediate Suspension
 
9. The Immediate Suspension Conference With Hearing Officer
 
10. The School Board Hearing
 
Part IV: Criminal Misconduct
 
11. Sexual Misconduct
 
12. Abuse of Controlled Substances
 
13. Theft and Fraud
 
14. Criminal Misconduct Outside the School Setting
 
RESOURCES
Resource A: Standards of Acceptable Conduct for Staff Members

 
Resource B: Letter to Schedule an Oral Reprimand Conference

 
Resource C: Major Components of an Oral Warning

 
Resource D: Letter to Schedule a Misconduct Meeting

 
Resource E: First Letter of Reprimand - Major Components

 
Resource F: Second Letter of Reprimand - Major Components

 
Resource G: Allegation of Staff Misconduct Standard Report Form

 
Resource H: Diagram of Human Body

 
Resource I: Misconduct Meeting at the School Level

 
Resource J: Misconduct Meeting With Hearing Officer

 
Resource K: Letter to the Media About Criminal Misconduct

 
 
References
 
Index

"How to Handle Staff Misconduct has simplified the process with its step-by-step format and has removed a lot of the emotions that have previously gone into addressing staff misconduct issues. I’ve had occasions to put the steps into play and have found them to be logical and straightforward."

Anne Hutcheson, Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel
Bellefonte Area School District, Pennsylvania

"Lawrence and Vachon did an outstanding job of writing guidelines that deal with the core aspects of supervision and documentation without becoming embroiled in state law issues and differences. I wish that I had this book as a guideline when I became a principal. I would have used it to train new hires on my administrative team."

Mary A. King, Director of High School Services
Texas Association of Secondary School Principals

“Especially valuable is the advice on establishing standards of acceptable conduct for staff members, including the outlines of a progressive disciplinary process to correct unwanted behaviors.”

The School Administrator, December, 2003

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