State Representatives Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Casey Kozlowski (R-Pierpoint) today announced that they have introduced legislation to create a formal appeals process for school teachers who receive a letter of admonishment in their files from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

Currently, when a complaint is filed and investigated, a letter of admonishment may be placed in his or her file as disciplinary action. Although the teacher can respond in writing, there is no official appeals process to ensure that the letter of admonishment was fairly received.

“Our teachers are professionals,” Johnson said. “They deserve to be treated with respect, and they deserve due process.”

“Although we must be on the lookout for misconduct in our schools, teachers should have a right to argue against an action that will permanently affect their records,” Representative Kozlowski said. “This legislation gives them that opportunity.”

The legislation will allow a teacher to file notice with ODE within 30 days to request a hearing to appeal the letter of admonishment. There would be a public hearing with a three-person panel that would include representatives of the superintendent of public instruction, the Office of Educator Licensure, and the Educator Standards Board. The panel would then make a recommendation to the Ohio Board of Education to remove the letter of admonishment or allow it to remain.

“It is important that teachers have a right to defend themselves,” Representative Johnson said. “This legislation gives them the chance to formally argue their case and ensures that they will not be treated unfairly as they continue on with their careers.”


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