Is it OK for a teacher to secretly record a conversation with the principal?

The issue of secret recording came up in a Commissioner’s decision from 2000.  Robstown ISD terminated the employment of Mr. Alejandro. The decision tells us that Mr. Alejandro had a “non-teaching contract” but does not specify what his position was.  Even though he was not on a teaching contract he was on a contract. Thus the district was required to provide a due process hearing prior to terminating his employment, which the district did.

There were several reasons for the proposed termination. One of them was that the man had installed a recording device in his office whereby he recorded telephone calls, without telling the other party to the call about this.  (Nixonian!)  The Commissioner (Jim Nelson) addressed this succinctly:

Taping one’s calls and not telling the other party to the call is not illegal in Texas, but it is not a professional act.  Making unauthorized recordings of conversations constitutes good cause for terminating Petitioner’s contract.

This is something that could be addressed in your policies, procedures or employee handbooks.  With recording devices so readily available these days, it would be wise to make sure that staff members know what the expectations are.

This Golden Oldie is Alejandro v. Robstown ISD, Docket No. 053-R2-1199.   Commissioner Nelson signed off on it September 5, 2000.


 File this one under: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

Tomorrow: Can we pray for the kids to do well on the STAAR test?