Teacher Misconduct Records Go Online

      5 Comments on Teacher Misconduct Records Go Online

Nationwide records of teacher discipline were kept from public view until recently, when a Florida newspaper collected and published the records in an online database that can be searched by name.

The announcement of this database creates a debate between competing interests, including from some who wonder why the records were not public to begin with. On the other side of the debate, there is the possibility that the newspaper has acted in an illegal manner by making otherwise private records available online. From Breitbart on December 21, 2007:

A confidential, nationwide list of 24,500 teachers who have been punished for a wide array of offenses was made available to the public Friday by a Florida newspaper.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune created a searchable database of the teachers’ names after waiting for years to gain access to the list. The paper began seeking the material as part of its earlier reporting on teacher sexual misconduct in Florida. It obtained the list from the Florida Department of Education.

The list, gathered and maintained by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, does not provide any information on why any of the teachers were disciplined. Sexual misconduct, financial misconduct, criminal convictions and other misbehavior all can bring disciplinary actions against teacher licenses.

The Sunshine and Open Records Blog reports that the East Valley Tribune has created a database of Arizona teacher misconduct records, based on an investigation of sexual misconduct and the disciplinary records previously kept from public view.

Even though a database of teacher misconduct records may not have details about why a teacher has a discipline record, other public records can be searched to find more information.

CourtReference.com and The Free Public Records Directory are sites that can help find online court records, law enforcement records and court contact information in every state.

UPDATE: Tamara Thompson from PIBuzz.com notes in the comments that there are additional online databases of teacher misconduct records in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: With a hat tip to The Virtual Chase:

Vermont offers online access to teacher disciplinary actions since January 1, 2000. Records are listed alphabetically and can be searched by last name.

South Carolina offers online access to South Carolina Department of Education records, including case summaries. Search options include year, school district, school name, teacher last name and type of finding.

Texas offers an online search of teacher certification status by name.

Many online government records, including teacher certification records, are available from the Free Public Records Directory. For example:

California has an online search of teacher credentials by name.

New York has an online search for teacher certification by name.

5 thoughts on “Teacher Misconduct Records Go Online

  1. John Taylor

    Interesting information. I would want to know what my kids teachers are up to. On the other side– if I were a teacher, I would not want to be confused as a pedophile, when perhaps I just stole some paperclips…

  2. FAPE_escape

    Why is there no database kept for school districts that are investigated to have denied a child a Free and Appropriat Public Educaiton?
    lexington 1 has some information on this topic that incoming parents should have access to.

  3. FedUp2008

    Where are all the facts on teachers/staff that are NOT reported? lol
    Just a note in a complaint from parents – labeled “overzealous” and wa-la the report disappears and is just a “note” now and no report has to be done, swept under the rug and their numbers go way down and we never know a thing,
    rinse – wash – repeat

  4. lisa

    how do i make a complaint out for a teacher that sat in a classroom eating his lunch while the class was being taught by another teacher giving my daughter and her girlfriend the middle finger and the school does nothing about this.


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