Teacher resigned without knowing that an SBEC report would be filed…..

Let’s consider the case of Mr. Smith, a math teacher, who is called in to the superintendent’s office and confronted with some evidence of his romantic and/or sexual conduct with a student.  The superintendent informs Mr. Smith that he plans to recommend to the school board that they terminate Mr. Smith’s employment.  Mr. Smith tells the superintendent that he will save him the trouble.  He offers a resignation, in writing, on the spot.

It’s a pretty bad day for Mr. Smith, and he walks out of the office in great stress. But at least he knows that this is the end of it. There will be no report to the school board—just a quiet resignation. He will begin applying for other jobs promptly.

But of course, Mr. Smith is mistaken.   The superintendent is going to make a report to SBEC.  She has to.

The superintendent in this situation has an obligation to inform SBEC, but there is an equally important duty that precedes that report. The superintendent must make sure that Mr. Smith knows that the report will be made. This has to happen before the resignation can be accepted.

Here’s what the Texas Administrative Code says:

Before accepting an employee’s resignation that, under this paragraph, requires a person to notify the SBEC by filing a report with the TEA staff, the person shall inform the certificate holder in writing that such a report will be filed and that sanctions against his or her certificate may result as a consequence.  19 T.A.C. 247.14(d)(3)(A).

So Mr. Smith should have been informed of this, in writing.  That might have caused him to decide not to resign.  If he chose not to resign, the superintendent would need to follow through with the recommendation of termination to the board. If Mr. Smith goes through with the resignation, he would understand that his troubles are far from over.