DHC(LEGAL) - EMPLOYEE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT: REPORTS TO TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
Note: The provisions of this policy apply to a district of innovation under Education Code, Chapter 12A. [See AF]
"Abuse" has the meaning assigned by Family Code 261.001(1).
"Employee" means a person who is employed by a school district, district of innovation, charter school, service center, or shared services arrangement and does not hold a certification issued by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) under Education Code, Chapter 21, Subchapter B.
19 TAC 153.1201(b), (d)
Misconduct of Noncertified Employees
Education Code 22.093 applies to a district employee who does not hold certification issued by SBEC or a school district teaching permit.
Notice to TEA of Termination or Resignation
A person who serves as the superintendent shall notify the commissioner of education in writing by filing a report within seven business days of the date the person either receives a report from a principal or knew that an employee was terminated or resigned from employment and there is evidence that the employee committed any of the following acts:
- Abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor; or
- Was involved in a romantic relationship with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor.
A person who serves as principal must notify the superintendent no later than seven business days after an employee resigns or is terminated following an alleged incident of misconduct described above.
A superintendent shall complete an investigation of an employee if there is reasonable cause to believe the employee may have engaged in misconduct described above, despite the employee's resignation from district employment before completion of the investigation.
Form of Report
The report must include:
- The name or names of any student or minor who is the victim of abuse or unlawful conduct by an employee;
- The factual circumstances requiring the report and the subject of the report by providing the following available information:
- Name and any aliases and certificate number, if any, or social security number;
- Last known mailing address and home and daytime phone numbers;
- All available contact information for any alleged victim or victims;
- Name or names and any available contact information of any relevant witnesses to the circumstances requiring the report;
- Current employment status of the subject, including any information about proposed termination, notice of resignation, or pending employment actions; and
- Involvement by a law enforcement or other agency, including the name of the agency.
The name of the student or minor is not public information under the Public Information Act (PIA).
Notice to the Board and Employee
A superintendent shall notify the board and the employee of the filing of the report.
A superintendent or principal who in good faith and while acting in an official capacity files a report or makes a notification is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.
Sanctions for Failure to Report
The commissioner shall refer an educator who fails to file a report to SBEC, which will determine whether to impose sanctions against the educator.
A superintendent commits an offense if the superintendent fails to timely file the report with intent to conceal an employee's criminal record or alleged incident of misconduct.
A principal commits an offense if the principal fails to timely provide notice with intent to conceal an employee's alleged incident of misconduct.
An offense under Education Code 22.093(k) is a state jail felony.
Review of District Records
The commissioner may review district records to ensure compliance with the requirement to report misconduct.
Education Code 22.093; 19 TAC 153.1203
Solicitation of Sexual Conduct
"Solicitation of sexual conduct" means deliberate or repeated acts that can be reasonably interpreted as the solicitation by an employee of a relationship with a student that is sexual in nature. Solicitation of sexual conduct is often characterized by a strong emotional or sexual attachment and/or by patterns of exclusivity but does not include appropriate relationships that arise out of legitimate contexts such as familial connections or longtime acquaintance. The following acts, considered in context, may constitute prima facie evidence of the solicitation by an employee of sexual conduct with a student:
- Behavior, gestures, expressions, or communications with a student that are unrelated to the employee's job duties and evidence a sexual intent or interest in the
student, including statements of love, affection, or attraction. Factors that may be considered in determining the intent of such communications or behavior, include, without limitation:
- The nature of the communications;
- The timing of the communications;
- The extent of the communications;
- Whether the communications were made openly or secretly;
- The extent that the employee attempts to conceal the communications;
- If the employee claims to be counseling a student, the commissioner of education may consider whether the employee's job duties included counseling, whether the employee reported the subject of the counseling to the student's guardians or to the appropriate school personnel, or, in the case of alleged abuse or neglect, whether the employee reported the abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities; and
- Any other evidence tending to show the context of the communications between employee and student;
- Making inappropriate comments about a student's body, creating or transmitting sexually suggestive photographs or images, or encouraging the student to transmit sexually suggestive photographs or images;
- Making sexually demeaning comments to a student;
- Making comments about a student's potential sexual performance;
- Requesting details of a student's sexual history;
- Requesting a date, sexual contact, or any activity intended for the sexual gratification of the employee;
- Engaging in conversations regarding the sexual problems, preferences, or fantasies of either party;
- Inappropriate hugging, kissing, or excessive touching;
- Providing the student with drugs or alcohol;
- Violating written directives from school administrators regarding the employee's behavior toward a student;
- Suggestions that a romantic relationship is desired after the student graduates, including post-graduation plans for dating or marriage; and
- Any other acts tending to show that the employee solicited sexual conduct with a student.
19 TAC 153.1201(a)