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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am a school district administrator in California with an

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I am a school district administrator in California with an employment contract until June 30th. My boss who is in a position similar to a superintendent does not like me for what I believe to be minor issues. Of course one person's minor can be another person's major. Basically, we have a communication problem. I interpret her comments and instructions differently than she means them and when I act on her instructions she feels I've willfully disregarded her directive. Now she wants me to teach two classes at the high school in which I have zero experience. It's a vocational class where the state requirement to teach it is five years of experience in the field taught. I was able to find a candidate with the necessary experience but she is still insisting I teach them. If I send this e-mail to my boss can it be construed as insubordination and will it be grounds to terminate me?

Of course, I will do as you ask. I will teach those two classes and I will begin to meet with Bob on a regular basis in order to prepare myself as much as possible. I like working with students, it’s why I decided to make educating them my life’s work. Having said that however, I must express my reservations about this decision. I would not be placing the best interests of students out front if I did not. I believe the decision to forgo the chance to have a qualified individual with 30 years of experience in the field, who has worked extensively with youth in the past, who has been an academy instructor and have me teach the course instead is an injustice for our students. Yes, I can teach them facts on a very superficial level and I will do my best, XXXXX XXXXX cannot teach them to any depth. That requires experience. There is a reason the requirement to obtain a DS credential is five years of experience in the field taught. I have zero, we have a candidate with 30. Presented with that scenario, any reasonable person would believe the same. I believe this is an emotional decision based on a dislike for me and a desire to punish. I don’t see it as a punishment for me, I see it as a disregard for the best interest of the students in the name vindictiveness. I am forwarding this e-mail to the members of the VROP board so they will be aware of the entire situation. I look forward to begin my new assignment at Kingsburg High School.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

What is the content of the email that you are considering sending to your boss?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Everything in my e-mail to you after the word Debbe

Hello Jay,

Again, I'm very sorry to hear about your difficult situation.

Unfortunately, I do think that the email could be construed as insubordination and could potentially result in your termination. If you do want to send the email, I would definitely eliminate the line about the decision being an emotional one made with the desire to punish [you] and the line about it being a vindictive decision.

Also, weighing the benefits to sending the email against the costs, I really don't think it would be a good idea to send it, as it would likely only serve to worsen your relationship with your boss, which would probably make your work experience even less pleasant than it is currently.

It still would probably be a good idea to go to the School Board with your concerns, but if you do send an email to your boss, I think you should err on the side of 'respectfully' disagreing with the decision rather than alleging that it is personal emotional decision made to punish you.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the advice. What are the downsides to speaking to the board?

Again, the insubordination issue would be present. Also, it could work against you, assuming that your boss becomes aware of your decision to speak to the board, and it could result in a worse relationship between you and the boss.

However, you would arguably have a case for retaliation or wrongful termination in violation of public policy if you are subject to unfair treatment (or termination) for voicing your concerns to the board, especially if you are being required to teach a class that you do not have the proper credentials to teach.
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