Appeal results in a “permanent” reprimand
Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision 10933
A teacher was found guilty of insubordination (refusal to act as a chaperone at a school event) and the disciplinary panel imposed the “penalty of a reprimand, to be expunged from ... (the) records if for the next two years there are no further disciplinary problems of a similar nature.”
The school district appealed to the Commissioner of Education, arguing that the penalty was not authorized by Section 3020-a of the Education Law.
The Commissioner agreed. He found that the penalty to be imposed is limited to one of the penalties enumerated in the law but that a reprimand is one of the penalties authorized.
He then held that the disciplinary panel lacked the authority to direct the Board of Education to later expunge the reprimand from the teacher’s file for “good behavior.” [See Opinions of the Attorney General 81-28].
The Commissioner then exercised his authority to impose a penalty, and ruled that a reprimand would be appropriate under the circumstances.
Presumably the reprimand will remain a permanent part of the teacher’s file unless the Board chooses to later remove it.