Misdemeanor Conviction and Getting Credentialed

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Ophelia, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    But tell me, why would you want to be in the bar, if you gave up drinking?


    Everyone is entitled to a second chance. I just would only question her intent, if she has solicited minors. If not...I will get off my soap box. It is up to the state to decide. If they say no, she may have to consider private schools, who may not do a rigorous background check.
     
  2. Sweet2Teach

    Sweet2Teach Rookie

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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think we have two important values here that are at odds: 1) we need to protect our kids from predators and 2) everyone is entitled to recover from a mistake.

    Given the situation in question, I think that time is the answer. If the incident was recent (I don't know... the past 5 years or so??) then the safety of the kids must take precedence. It's just too big a risk with someone who may or may not be past whatever demons drove him or her in the first place.

    But if a person has honestly turned his or her life around, and has a clean record of several years to back up that claim, then I think we need to consider the original incident as a mistake of long ago.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that's a fair way to look at things.
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    here, here....

    to help us help her, we need more facts...she has to come all the way clean to the state anyways...

    the more we know, the better we can assist...

    For example, I personally would not join a domestic violence ministry at church. Yes, I have been a victim, and yes I could probably offer a great deal of support and advice. However, I need to have my own comfort zone. Rehashing the past, and hearing other horror stories may just give me nightmares. Of course, I am not harming anyone...but it is hurting me, to relive these stories.

    I remember one group session had a counselor who literally looked as if she got a thrill by hearing the stories! She would get all upset, and offer her own ending to the tale. She would ask, (with hostility, and anger in her voice), "What did you do then??? "How did that make you feel??" In my honest opinion, she was the wrong person for that job! She was not helping us towards a healthy beginning...she was trying to satisfy her own anger by reliving others' stories.

    My point is, I would rather be a member of a ministry that is more uplifting, and productive...for me. Even though I was not involved in an illegal act, something terribly illegal happened to me..I was a victim...and therefore...I need space away from those types of situations. Until, at least 5 maybe 10 years from now, where I have overcome it, and it won't bother me to hear a parent confide that her husband is abusing her. I will just tell her to talk to the social worker, and I hope she will.

    My comfort zone, and my :2cents:
     
  6. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Whether someone convicted of solicitation should or should not be teaching can be argued forever. In California, there are certain offenses which require the denial or revocation of a teaching credential. They can be found here. I did a quick scan and it didn't appear that a misdemeanor conviction for solicitation would be disqualifying. But I think it would be good to contact a lawyer with experience in this area.

    The big question will be can she land a job if she has a credential. Employers will do a background check and may not be interested in hiring someone with this kind of record.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Exactly what I've been saying Malcolm- a district is more likely to hire a highly qualified teacher with no record of convictions than one with convictions...it's just that simple. It's hard enough for teachers to get jobs- many many applications for each single opening. Districts eliminate candidates for spelling errors in their cover letters for goodness sake- I think having a conviction would easily put a candidate in the 'NO' pile. I think it's important for people with convictions to realize this- otherwise they will go through the expense of the education, jumping thru the testing and credentialing hoops only to not get a job...then they can come back to the forums and complain about how unfair it is and how hard it is to get a job...
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I agree. It's hard enough for all these new teachers to get jobs and they are qualified and have blameless records. No matter what anybody said above, I wouldn't want anyone convicted of solicitation in a school. Not as a teacher, support staff, lunch room, or maintenance. And that would be forever.
     
  9. princessa48

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    I'm all for second chances, but when it comes to working with children...not the place. I'm sorry, but there are just certain things that you can't risk. Children are faced with enough corruption at home and on t.v. I don't think we should be settling with ex-cons as teachers especially when there are so many highly qualified teachers without criminal records. I honestly don't even know how someone like this could be admitted into an education program. I know for my college I had to be interviewed and present clearances before even taking any core education courses.

    Like I said, I'm all for second chances, but not when working with children.
     
  10. Weazy

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    I feel bad for the girl who made a stupid decision 5 years ago, but we all know that there are consequences to our actions.

    We have all been fingerprinted and had background checks done over and over--and I always keep in mind that that doesn't always mean someone has a spotless background, it could mean they just haven't been caught, including educators! I'm sure we all have stories about the teacher who.....and nobody knew! When it comes to kids, we just can't take any extra chances.
     
  11. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    you know, they only fingerprint you for your state! That is why so many people go to different states. One state may be more leinent than others. You could live across the street, state line..and be a felon. But you will pass the background check, because you did not have any record in this state.
     
  12. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Ours is through the DOJ, it's federal. And we use Livescan, so if anything happens after you are hired, the district will still be notified.
     
  13. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    If you're caught. Thank goodness, the majority of educators are upstanding, decent people that we don't have to worry about--at least, I hope not.
     
  14. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I wanted to go back to your original question, before I bow out. As it is, many people feel one way or the other. I still have to ask the same question:

    Why do you want to go to a bar, if you gave up drinking?

    Why does your sister want to be a teacher? Does she really like kids, enjoys learning, and has a strong quest for knowledge? Is she willing to go thru the rigourous 4 years of school, student teaching, and battery of tests afterwards? Is she interested in young children, middle grades or high school?

    The thing is, you can do quite a bit with an educational background. However, given the circumstances, she must seriously answer the question: Has she solicited or had relationships with minors? If this is true, she must really decide why she feels that teaching is a way for her to turn her life around.

    I have nothing against second chances...but there are plenty of ways and lots of people she can help! She can teach college, seniors, the disabled, and rehabilate other ex-offenders.

    But a person who wants a fresh start should not go back into the river if they almost drowned.
     
  15. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I agree, Alice.
    I appreciate, but do not agree with the idea that someone who has experienced the sort of problems we're discussing here will make a more understanding or compassionate teacher. I think that if we are compassionate, we can accept and help others without having to have experienced what they are going through. I think that any kind of suffering can help us to be more compassionate, because if you know what it is to suffer you can have empathy for others who are suffering. Most important is our ability to see the humaness in every person, and to support everyone's sense of dignity. We definitely do not have to have "been there" to do that.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    yes, I heard some teachers had contracts canceled after word was out of some unmentionable photos!!!
     
  17. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    we have not heard back from OP....I would like to see some type of solution..

    I wish she would tell us, point blank...whether or not she solicited children or teens. I seriously believe that makes a difference in this situation. Turning your life around is one thing. But working with children if you have previously abused children is something that I don't think she should consider.

    The fact that prostitution is an illegal and immoral act alone has touched off a great debate to many posters here.

    Maybe some may feel the crime is wrong regardless of what age level she was involved in. I think there is more to this story. It takes a certain mindset to engage in illicit acts with minors. Why do you think they make people list themselves as "registered sex offenders". So you will know that these people are living in your neighborhood. They admit they were wrong, AND...they don't want to run the risk of committing this crime again. By posting their names and addressess, they let the community know and people can choose to handle this information as they see fit.

    Case in point: if you admit that you steal money, nobody will give you a job as a cashier! But, they may give you a second chance, and let you be a stock clerk.

    Just my opinion...
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I may be mistaken, but in the original post, the writer stated that (1) the "perpetrater" was her sister, (2) the conviction was for misdemeanor solicitation, and (3) the sister had really turned her life around. I read absolutely NOTHING that says she did ANYTHING against children or teens! I really don't know where that assumption came from. :huh:

    Now I see... she posted a second time, in which she discussed OTHER teachers who had been caught in inappropriate acts with students. Her sister had nothing to do with those.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    And I don't think the sister would have been charged with solicitation if the offense had involved children. Solicitation seems like it would only apply to adults. As soon as children come into the picture, it seems like it would become assault, molestation, endangerment, or something like that.
     
  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    ok, thanks for clearing that up for me!
     
  21. nytwinbee

    nytwinbee Rookie

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    Master Pre-K, There is no indication here that the person had any kind of relationship with minors, why are you saying why go to the bar? A charge of solicitation does not indicate that this person is some kind of pedophile. It is obvious it was someone in a very bad situation. We do not know the person's circumstance at the time, and perhaps the desperate situation she may have been to resort to soliciting. We also do not know if it was simply being at the wrong place, the wrong time.

    I do understand other posters that have pointed out, that there are so many other qualified candidates with squeaky clean records, why would a district even bother taking the chance. This person needs to prove herself beyond everyone else, and bring something to the table. Perhaps another language, or additional desired skills, such as technology, or be willing to teach a difficult subject.

    It all boils down to supply and demand. When there is a high supply of highly qualified individuals the school districts can be very choosy, as long as they do not discriminate according to the law.
     
  22. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Well, I hope things work out for her.
     
  23. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Just because she has made a mistake does not mean she may not be an excellent teacher- a teacher who inspires. I do not think her past should be held against her. I know plenty of teachers- who have done basically nothing wrong, but that does not make them a good teacher. You can be the best person in the world and not be a good teacher. I think she should be given a chance to prove herself. If she is not a very good teacher then so be it- then let her move on.
    Most of us here have dreamed about the day we first step in our own classroom- we know the passion and the work it takes. Why would you want to take that away from someone?!
     
  24. MissFroggy

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    I think she will be able to get into a program, do student teaching and get certified, providing she never had any relations with minors and is not considered a sex offender.

    However, finding a job in California might be difficult. She will probably have to disclose that she has a conviction. Also, if she was fingerprinted, that will show up in the fingerprint test.

    There may be a school that totally loves her, maybe the place she does her student teaching that won't care. Or maybe she will have a friend who works somewhere that can recommend her... If she does the program and can't teach, I'm sure there is something else she can do with the degree.

    I will say, I bet if the parents found out about the conviction they would be livid!
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Regardless if the op's sister solicited kids or teens or grown ups or cows....the point remains that a sollicitation conviction is going to raise the moral eyebrows of the taxpayers/board/administrators of any district to which she applies...my much repeated caveat that there are many many many teachers with clean, clean, downright immaculate records who can not find jobs and that a district who has HUNDREDS of resumes for every opening and can afford to be VERY SELECTIVE would rather hire one of those over someone who prostititued themselves should cause the op's sister to second guess education as a career...
     
  26. Sweet2Teach

    Sweet2Teach Rookie

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    A "DOWNRIGHT IMMACULATE" record is not the end all! I totally agree with swocean gal. If a district has 2 canidates- One with a record and one without- the choice might be obvious. But if the teacher with a "downright immaculate record" has no fire or passion for teaching, what good is she????? And if the one with a "MISDIMEANOR" has great references, reviews and has really proved herself and demonstrates passion and fire- Guess who the district would pick?? You need to recognize that not everyone comes from a "perfect" background like you:angel: , but that anything is attainable IF you prove yourself. It may take becoming a substitute in the district or a teachers aide, but I believe that doors can open! Oh and I am sure that you will mention that solicitation is the unforgivable sin and the district will not hire them. Again, every state is different and worse comes to worse- move to another state! :D
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Personal opinions aside, I'm not sure that this is a good example, at least not in the metro NYC area.

    For every job opening, especially in elementary ed, there are hundreds of applicants. We're talking 400 or 500 applicants for that single job. So districts aren't faced with the choice you describe... they're faced with a plethora of qualified, wonderful, personable teachers with clean records and great references who have proved themeselves and demonstrate passion and fire , as well as a number of similar people with less than spotless records.

    Some parts of the country really need teachers, so the outlook there would probably be different. But here, getting hired would probably be a tough battle.
     
  28. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    krd125, did you have to get personal there? Daisy is thinking of the children, that's all. The original topic is one that is difficult to be objective about, especially for women. She's not the one who talked about DUI's, I was. And I was talking about people who get multiple DUI's while they are teaching, I do think that shows a disreguard for human life and your profession. Would you go to a doctor who was getting DUI's? How do you know they're not high when they're filling in your prescription? And if you drink and drive, you put lives in danger every time you do it. And you know it. (not you personally) That's my thing, Daisy didn't say that.

    And once again, I have to say in response to your point about being more compassionate and understanding because of what you've experienced, that we don't have to have experienced those things to be compassionate individuals. You just have to recognize the humanity and inherent dignity in every person. Sometimes whether you like it or not. Like my girl's Godmother told me when I said I cannot love everyone, Jesus is not saying that we have to have "warm fuzzy feelings" for everyone, he's saying we have to act loving to them like be respectful, be courteous, be compassionate. That I can do.

    Yes, people have to know that they can reconcile a mistake. But if you (not you personally) keep doing the same thing, it hasn't been reconciled and there is no true conversion, that's why I feel the way I do about multiple DUI's.
     
  29. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    It is the same here, as you know,Alice-NJ schools are inundated with resumes. One of my interviews-24 people narrowed down from 650 resumes.

    My brother is a recovering addict. Believe me, we have been through so much pain with him for years, incredibly so. I know that most peoples' lives are not neat little packages wrapped in pretty bows.

    But when you have a flooded job market in MANY areas of the country, you have to be realistic.

    I know so many people looking for teaching jobs who are excellent teachers, with great references and no records and they have that drive and passion. They cannot find jobs! So, in places like NY and NJ and so many others, if you have a record and want to be a teacher, the odds are REALLY against you. That does not make any of us "mean" for saying this; if this was my brother or friend or niece or whoever, I would tell them about the reality.
     
  30. krd925

    krd925 New Member

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    People drive intoxicated all the time who have not been caught, and are not alcoholics, but maybe had a few drinks & did not realize how little it takes to reach the point of intoxication.

    I have a DWI conviction from 7 years ago. I have been teach being since 2005 and was a sub in 2004. In two different states, I have had no problem getting a job. Thankfully, the state and the districts take many factors into consideration, and have not deemed me unfit to teach because I did something people do everyday without getting caught - this is not to excuse it; I would never even come close to a drink if I were driving, but sadly people do it all the time, teachers included.

    As for a doctor who had a previous DWI...I would have no problem. But since we are cracking down, by all means, it sounds like a great reason to get Bush outta office to me....
     
  31. krd925

    krd925 New Member

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    I did not say was necessary to have experienced a DWI or any other conviction. My statements were in direct response to the unequivocal judgement & condemnation irrespective of any mitigating factors.
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It is neither condemnation nor judgment, but caution. Anyone who makes a mistake and pays for the crime should be forgiven. That doesn't mean everyone should forget it ever happened. I wasn't referring to DWI, either, but solicitation, which is what the OP mentioned.
     
  33. Sweet2Teach

    Sweet2Teach Rookie

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    I work in a district that receives 1500+ apps for one position! I have twenty+ school districts that people would die to get into! Guess what- I got a job there! So let us be REALISTIC! I know many administrators and have been mentored by great leaders and they look at convictions (of coarse who wouldn't) but depending on the crime and the time, if they see the "passion" that will add to their district they will hire! It is all about who you know and how well you know what you know! They have that power. :|
     
  34. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    MY apologies. I thought my post was very REALISTIC.

    And it isn't always about who you know. A number of people here have gotten jobs simply because they and their qualifications were enough.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oh, please, Sweet- You are getting rather passionate about this issue yourself, aren't you? What's the crack about my 'perfect background'...Like everyone else, I have made mistakes and learned from them (I mentioned this in one of my previous posts )but in any case, I do have a pretty good life!!:) . I also have passion about what I do- I also have a realistic view of who districts hire: qualified- of course, educated- absolutely, well-spoken, poised- great...but a conviction for solicitation- let's get real here- whether or not you or I know, like and vouch for such a candidate the bottom line is IT"S JUST NOT GOING TO FLY with most school boards and communities so why would a school take that on when there ARE so many qualified, motivated, passionate teachers, with yes immaculate records, available. And no, passion is not the the 'end all', either...my district interviewed over 30 qualified candidates who had clean records -many of whom had passion- before finally hiring 2 great candidates. You have to be a 'total package'...
     
  36. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Why would anyone take the risk of hiring someone with solicitation on his/her record to work with children? All other reasons aside, it would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.
     
  37. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    Move to another state? I'm sorry but I am extremely offended that anyone would even consider giving somebody with a solicitation record this advice. As a parent and a taxpayer I would be horrified to know that there is someone like this working with children. Come on now, what is so gosh darn awful about having a squeaky clean record???? There was no reason to get personal with someone about how "clean" their record is!
     
  38. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I'm not intending to give a sermon here, I'm just offended at much of the last several posts going back and forth. And you guys get to say when you're offended and yell at people, so I'm saying it too. If you want to yell at me, go ahead. I'm busy, I might not see it for a while. I'm leaving with these final comments. Starting with Billy Graham, from The Journey: "Treat others as you'd want them to treat you....Every day I realize I'm just a sinner like everyone else, and I have been forgiven only because of God's grace. God gave us our gifts and abilities. He blessed our eforts. If we start thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to, it takes away from our proper worship of God. Pride blinds us to our own faults."

    Every Sunday we start out confessing that we have sinned, in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done, and in what we have failed to do. And I'm sure not any less a sinner than anyone else. I've been called a "goody two shoes" amongst other similiar names all of my life and you know what, I'm still a sinner. And I love Jesus. And he loved everyone. So I try to do the same, but I'm just a wanna' be. I'm practicing. But one thing I try to remember is "but by the Grace of God." In the Lord's prayer that Jesus told us to pray, we say, "Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil." That's asking not only that you not be hurt by someone else's sin, but that you yourself are not lead into sin.

    And in my cj classes, I really and truly learned that is true. Not everyone is strong. Not everyone has a good upbringing. Not everyone has the same chances, and fighting their way out of environment or addiction takes incredible strength. These are the reasons that I went into teaching, to try to work on the proactive side of justice.

    Anyway, what difference does it make. I'm sure someone will be able to turn this into something to get offensive or defensive about. Go ahead. This gives me a headache. But one thing, what if this were your sister? your daughter? your mother? your aunt? We're all connected, like it or not. So we might as well try to help each other out.
     
  39. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    and let me clarify, I'm offended because you are hurting each others' feelings by the things you are saying and acting like it doesn't matter.
     
  40. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    I know for a fact that my principal would not hire someone who had a misdemeanor conviction on their record. Even if it was in the past, it was a choice that you made. Everyone has to pay for their choices.

    I understand that you want to turn your life around and make different choices, but you must remember that your past can sometimes haunt you. There may be schools out there who will give you a chance, which will be very helpful to you in your life turning point, but you musn't be offended when someone chooses to give the job to another individual with no misdemeanors on their record.

    I also don't think it's too out of line for other people to mention their thoughts on this. But, I do believe that some could do it more tactfully. If I had a child in a school, I certainly would not want their role model to be someone who had made poor decisions such as those.
     
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