Know Your Rights

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Teacher Bill of Rights

§416.18. Teacher Bill of Rights

A. Respecting the authority of teachers is essential to creating an environment conducive to learning, effective instruction in the classroom, and proper administration of city, parish, and other local public schools. To maintain and protect that authority, it is important that teachers, administrators, parents, and students are fully informed of the various rights conferred upon teachers pursuant to this Section, which are:

Not Bad Enough to be Expelled

Not BAD enough to be expelled...but not GOOD enough to stay in your classroom.

Teachers know that if a student is dangerously disruptive, they can fill out the discipline "long form" that puts the student on track for suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary action.

But state law also mandates a "cooling off period for students who are annoying and mildly disruptive, but who obviously are not candidates for more serious penalties.

What Every Employee Should Know: Policies & Best Practices

Back-to-school employee orientation should always include a review of state, system and school policies and procedures. This activity may not seem like a priority while you are focused on that first day with students. However, you are accountable for knowing these policies and procedures regardless of whether or not you're received training:

Reporting Abuse

One of the most difficult things that an educator can face, is when you have cause to believe that a student is being abused or neglected. Whether it's physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect, as a school employee you are a mandatory reporter. Educators must report to child protection any situations where you have cause to believe a child is being abused or neglected. 

Signing Documents

Should you sign that document that your principal or someone from Central Office put it in front of you? It's simple; yes, you should sign it, but you should add write a little note next to your signature simply saying: 

"My signature does not mean that I agree with the contents of this document, only that I have received it."

Drug & Alcohol Testing

What do you do if your supervisor asks you to take a drug or alcohol test at work? The first thing you should do is call the union to get advice. 

The school board, as a public employer, does have the right to require you to get drug and/or alcohol screening, but only in certain circumstances. The main circumstance is if they believe that you are impaired because of drugs or alcohol. In other words, that you're showing some visible signs of impairment. 

When Someone From Central Office Shows Up

What do you do if you're at work and someone from Central Office shows up to ask you some questions? Well, this is an instance when you need to call the JFT office as soon as possible. 

If you're about to be accused of something, you have rights. If you're about to be told that you're going to be suspended or sent home or placed on leave, you have rights. Cooperate with the person from Central Office, but tell them "I'm a JFT member and I would prefer to respond your questions when I have JFT Representation."

Injured at Work

Unfortunately, our members get hurt at work sometimes. The actions you take immediately after getting hurt can have a lasting impact on your recovery benefits. Of course, if you have a serious medical consequence, go get the medical care you need. But whether or not you need immediate medical care, it is important for you to complete a "First Report Injury Form" as soon as possible. It is extremely important that you complete this form within 48 hours of the incident (sooner the better).

Social Media Guidelines

In this 20-minute video, LFT General Counsel Larry Samuel provides an in-depth overview of law and policy surrounding a school employee's right to post on social media. What you can and can't say, and how far the 1st Amendment really goes to protect you at work.