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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

I just received my first ever “Needs Development” on GTEP observation record. I was asked to sign it. What do I do?

Remain calm. You should sign the GTOI for receipt purposes only and not in agreement with its contents. You have 10 working days to request a conference to discuss the observation and the conference must be held within 10 days. Any written comments must be submitted within 10 working days. Contact your UniServ Director for assistance.

This is my first year teaching, and I was just told that I’m fired. What do I do?

Do not resign. Even a first year teacher has due process rights under the Fair Dismissal Law when facing termination during the term of your contract. Immediately contact your UniServ Director or Legal Services by telephone.

I was given my contract today and was told to return it by tomorrow. Is this legal?

Educators have a statutory minimum 10-day period to review their employment contracts.

I signed my contract for next year, but I’ve found a better paying position in another school system. May I sign another contract?

No. You must first obtain a release from your current school system before you enter into another employment contract.

I was told to eat lunch with my second grade class every other week during the year. Is this legal?

It depends. In a traditional school system teachers employed in grades K-5 are entitled to a daily lunch period of not less than 30 minutes. However, your local board of education may have eliminated these important rights for teachers employed in a charter school system or a Strategic Waiver School System. You should check your local school board policy manual for further information AND become active in local school board elections AND lobby your state legislators.

I am diabetic and was told that I cannot have a snack on the school bus. Is that legal?

No. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a school board must make a reasonable accommodation for the known physical or mental handicap with a disability.