Bad reference/ No reference

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teachis4m3, Apr 24, 2017.

?

What should I do

Poll closed May 8, 2017.
  1. Get A Lawyer

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. It will be Ok

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  3. I had something similar happen to me and I am teaching still; Don't worry

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2017

    What has happened.

    I am a new teacher and felt negativity from my team.
    I had heard the teacher I replaced did not like her new job and
    wanted to her old job back.
    During a Holiday party last year that teacher was talking about how much she missed her
    old job. I was at the party with a friend, this was at my friend's school, and I had others around me when the following happened:
    The teacher who's job I filled said, "Yeah I miss it."
    Me jokingly, "Well it's mine now, too bad."
    Her: "I can have you out of there in a second."
    Holiday breaks and the following:
    My team, good friends with her, started giving me the cold shoulder.
    I try being more friendly and supportive.
    Didn't work.
    Eventually I go to my superior for reasons (on top of this) and told my superior (other good reasons I won't list here) as to why I feel uncomfortable.
    Superior tells me this is the highest scoring team for my discipline in the school (Test scores).
    My scores, first year teacher, has ranked at or above (for similar student types) theirs or is quite close.
    I am above district goals as well.
    I was also told about friendships between my superior and the other team members and my concerns may just be invalid perceptions.
    >Reference Checks done by a third party.
    I found it was not a perception and things were said were not consistent with the 3rd party and a Cease and Desist recommendation was made.

    It eventually went up the chain and I cannot discuss those details.

    I do believe I was being pushed out and the position was not listed as temporary but was always the previous teacher's had she ever wanted to come back.

    When I check for references now it gets bounced around.
    I was told that they can only be positive or just the basic, it is our policy to only disclose x y and z.
    The reference check said they sounded evasive and they were redirected to HR.

    I am thinking about having an attorney draft a script that they would have to abide by.
    ***Please note there are things I cannot talk about that paints me in a more positive light***

    I did want to quit so bad.
    Right now I am awaiting my summative.

    Suggestions?
    Should I get a lawyer?
    I am Union but we don't have great numbers where we are.
     
  2.  
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 25, 2017

    You are a new teacher. As such, they can terminate you for whatever reason they choose and they don't have to tell you why. It seems to me that a lawyer would not be able to help you.
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  4. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I fixed it for you.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Your story is a little hard for me to follow.

    Were you fired?

    Why do you believe that you can require them to use a script drafted by you and an attorney? Is there a legal precedent for this?

    I am not an attorney, but I don't see why a reference wouldn't be able to say what they want when being asked about you. They can't lie, of course, and they should have proof to back up whatever they're saying. Do you have reason to believe that they are lying about you? Do you have proof?

    Many businesses and school districts have policies to share limited information such as dates of employment.. As far as I know, though, this isn't a law. I could be wrong.

    More words, please.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  6. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Not fired.
    Legal Precedence is Contract Law i.e. any agreement arranged in mediation or arbitration is highly enforceable.
    Also see: Good faith doctrines in Contract Law.

    With references there can be some protections with the reference giver(this is true and you have some merit in your comment):
    References need to be factual and opinions cannot be with Malice and must be accurate.
    Any time you make a statement like answering, "Would you rehire this person." If it is a no and you do not provide a valid reason, you open yourself up to interpretations.

    Some of the HR strategies being borrowed from big business have little or no room in education.

    Any time you go into opinion then many avenues open up for a tort.
    Administration vs fellow employees can be different though.
    An administrator is supposed to document employee actions and relations.

    I do not want other people thinking they can be bullied.
     
  7. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Low man on the totem pole can be let go for any reason or no reason and you would have no leg to stand on. That's just how it goes.
     
  8. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I agree, if it is for legal reasons.
     
  9. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Apr 25, 2017

    legal reasons?
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2017

    I think OP means that you can fire someone for reasons that would be illegal and discriminatory. Those can be hard to prove, though, which is where the challenge lies.
     
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  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm afraid I still don't understand.
     
  12. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Harassment
    Discrimination (EEOC, ADA, and other Title VII)
    Due to ongoing Contractual Interference.
    Also if any comment has been made in regards to implied continual relations during the period of the contract.
    Example, "Oh we plan to keep you on for a long time."

    It is important that teachers to not just accept what people tell them.
    We lost many good teachers to the drama that is in the public education system.
    I know of teachers who will leave students alone to go smoke off campus and remain in their positions but some pretty good ones that are let go and are low "man" on the totem pole.
     
  13. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2017

    It is very hard to prove in a business but not in government.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2017

    But it's very easy for admin to simply say that you weren't a good fit. That's not something that they need to have a lot of proof for, especially if you didn't have tenure or something like it.
     
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  15. christie

    christie Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2017

    Caesar is correct. They don't need to give a reason for firing you. They don't even need to say you weren't a good fit. If they were smart, they wouldn't give a reason, just show you the door. That absolutely sucks, but unless you can prove they did something illegal, I don't know that an attorney can help you.

    I'm not sure why it would be easier to prove for the government than a business.
     
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  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Deleted
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 26, 2017

    OP, as others have stated, a new teacher doesn't have a leg to stand on if the admin wants them out. There are so many ways to word it so nothing illegal is said, and no lawyer can help you.
    That being said, your post is very confusing and it is quite hard to offer you advice when we really can't decipher what you are asking.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Apr 26, 2017

    It sounds like the big problem is that OP is being harmed in the search for a new job by getting bad/untrue references from her current employer. That would definitely be an area that a lawyer (or the union) could help, provided you have proof they are lying about you.
     
    Teachis4m3 likes this.
  19. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Apr 26, 2017

    I find your post very confusing. Exactly what do you feel your admin is doing that is illegal? How do you feel they violated ADA or EEOC?
     
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  20. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2017

    Utah: Title 63G, Chapter 2, Part 2, § 201 (2016)
     
  21. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2017

    Racial Discrimination, wrong doing was admitted. My ambiguity is on purpose though.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Can you explain why you think that this is relevant to your situation?
     
  23. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Teachers Anyone can get access to emails of a principal and any other public employee unless it is a part of a protected class of information.
    You don't need any reason to access it other than making a request.
    It will cost money though if anyone asks for printed copies.
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    It sounds as though you are saying (but trying not to say) that you are being let go or are not getting a positive reference because of racial discrimination. I'm also inferring that you believe that there is evidence of this in emails and that you are wanting to request (demand?) copies of those emails. A couple of things to consider:
    - what is it you are hoping will happen?
    - do you really want to work for someone or in a district that will discriminate in such a manner
    - are you 100% positive that this is the sole reason for poor references or for losing your position at the school?
    - is your understanding that you should have full access to the principal's email just because you ask?
    - how are job openings, or cuts, handled as per your contract? Here, the person with the lowest seniority is always the first to go; job performance, evaluations, test scores, etc, don't figure in at all.

    If you decide to pursue anything through legal channels, please be aware that the education world is very, very small and your actions could have a significant impact on your ability to move on and secure another position. If you are concerned about what is, or isn't, being said in a reference letter, you don't likely want it to include that you brought a lawsuit against your previous employer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  25. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2017

    I got a really good end of year evaluation a few days ago (It would be good for a veteran teacher).
    I would not want to work for the administrator I had in the beginning of the year again.

    I also looked up lawsuits for people who sued the district.
    They all have teaching positions.
    The smallness of the education world also knows bad districts.
    Do we want bad districts to continue be bad or do we want to hold them accountable?
    The kids suffer if we do not.
     
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  26. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    So, you got a really good end of year evaluation but you want to sue the school district?
     
  27. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    Possibly,
    The person who wrote the summative is not causing the issues and is bound by their superior. That person would give a good reference if they could. Proficient -Distinguished coupled with above avg effect size.
     
  28. Teachis4m3

    Teachis4m3 Rookie

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    :update:
    That administrator was asked to seek other opportunities outside of the district.
    "You are a new teacher. As such, they can terminate you for whatever reason they choose and they don't have to tell you why."
    As it turns out, they do have to.
    I was asked to stay within the district.

    Remember what we tell our students, show me your evidence for your conclusion.
     
    SageScience likes this.
  29. TheGr8Catsby

    TheGr8Catsby Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2017

    The quieter a nonrenewal goes, and it sounds like you were nonrenewed, the better. I'm not super familiar with Utah tenure laws, but in most states the contract you sign says you are being employed for the 20XX-20YY school year. Barring other issues for immediate termination, you are obligated and have a right to work for that school year. Being nonrenewed is not a big deal. Your principal (or whoever is in charge of contract renewals) can say that you're not getting a new contract the next year for just about any reason.

    However, making a big deal about a nonrenewal is a big deal. Having a legacy of trying to fight a nonrenewal, especially legally, puts a big "do not hire" stamp on your head.

    Edit: I see that this is an old thread, and I overlooked your response. I'm glad things worked out for you, and it seems that there was actual wrongdoing to you. That being said, I think that my comments still stand in the event that you find yourself not having a contract when you're in an nontenured position. Just remember, don't work for someone who doesn't want you there.
     
    vickilyn likes this.
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    From your OP, it seems you created some of your own problems
     

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