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TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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A male teacher and a female teacher are accused of having sex

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A male teacher and a female teacher are accused of having sex in a classroom after school hours. They vehemently deny that this happened and insist that their relationship is strictly one of friendship. District officials admit that there is no "proof of this incident." Because the male teacher is seen on camera entering the female teacher's classroom and they are both seen exiting the room, both teachers are being transferred to other schools. The rationale for this is that the rumors circulating around the school are hindering the teachers' teaching and students' learning. The district will not divulge the source of their information. Both teachers were sent home to wait until they are notified of their new positions.
* This incident was supposed to have taken place on December 10. They were confronted about it on January 15.
* Without any type of warning, the district chief of police entered the male teacher's classroom, made him surrender his cell phone, and escorted him in the police car to the district office. He could have easily driven himself upon request.
* The teachers' concern is that by being transferred, it appears that they are guilty of this act. Again, they both insist they are not. They believe that this is extremely damaging to their reputations, both personal and professional.
* There are many people that will vouch for the good character of the teachers.
DO THEY HAVE ANY LEGAL RECOURSE?
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

A school may make it a policy and a condition of continued employment that teachers may not have sex with each other while on school property. Generally, a teacher signs a contract of employment which protects the teacher from at will termination and often limits the termination of that teacher for cause. Thus, if the administration suspected the teacher of an illicent act in violation of school policies, they could terminate the teacher under the contract for cause.

Here, the school is not seeking to terminate the teachers. Rather, they are simply moving the teachers to different schools. Of course, this may affect the teachers' desire to continue teaching as moving to a different school can have an impact on their lifestyle and earnings.

The question you have posed is whether the teachers have any legal recourse. Generally, the employment contract is with the school district and the school district has the right to reassign the teachers to a different school and does not promise employment at any school in particular.

Unfortunately, unless there was some adverse employment action taken (i.e., termination or reduction in pay), or there was a promise in the original employment agreement that the teacher would teach only at that particular school, then the teachers do not have any legal recourse.

Generally when an employer acts to discipline an employee, the employee is not entitled to look at any of the underlying investigation which led to the disciplinary action. Thus, in this case, there is no way outside of litigation for the teachers to inquire into the basis for the school's decision. Further, as stated above, any claim at this point would be weak at best, XXXXX XXXXX school is not terminating the teacher and there is no indication in your question that there is a reduction in pay, so there would be no breach of contract upon which you could base a lawsuit.

The teachers need to review their contract to determine whether the schools actions have violated their promises in that contract.

Please let me know if you have further questions regarding this matter. Please also remember to rate my answer positively, as I am not compensated for my work on your question until you do so.

-ZDN
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