Court cases about teacher insubordination

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this research is to examine court cases about adverse employment actions against public educators for insubordination, in an effort to understand what courts consider to be "insubordination." This study represents qualitative document-based research that was based upon the analysis of case law. The research sources were court cases involving a claim of teacher insubordination that have been identified by the editors of West Publishing Company. Cases spanning from 1900 to 2011 were used, to provide a sufficient number of court decisions. From these decisions, it is hoped that a better understanding of how the courts deal with these claims and possible trends related to the courts handling of these situations will emerge. In the 129 cases that were briefed that pertained to educators that were insubordinate, the court ruled most predominately in support or favor of the school board. For example, 93 cases were ruled in favor of the school board and 36 in favor of the educator. Sixty-five cases dealt with the teacher or principal's inability to follow board policy, direct orders, or directives from superiors. After being disseminated into several categories, the cases could then be divided into two key groups: (1) the educators charged with insubordination where there was inadequate substantiation to justify termination or the consequence was too severe or the constitutional rights of the individual were infringed upon, and (2) the employees who did not follow the policies set forth by the school board and administrative directions or were incapable of being models representative of the community morals and values linked to the schools they serviced. As a result, it is necessary for administrators and school boards to realize the significance of the rationality in working with every employee in a professional way so that the constitutional rights of each educator and staff member are protected. It is crucial that educators perform in a professional way showing admiration for students, employers, and the community. This will curb unnecessary legal ramifications. Every potential strategy must be used to circumvent litigation and produce the greatest probable educational organization.

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Educational administration, Education, Law