Summary Offenses\Underage Drinking

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by BenSentWings, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. BenSentWings

    BenSentWings New Member

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    Jan 17, 2011

    Hi everyone, this is my first post. I'll start off by saying that I am a current college student going for my Bachelor's degree in History / Political Science. If I want to, which I do, I can take an additional 30 credits plus one additional math course and earn/be eligible to earn a teaching certification in Pennsylvania.

    My hang up at the time being is that I had received two under age drinking citations as a minor. These of course don't count as felonies or misdemeanors but I still feel like they carry a negative enough connotation that they could end up as a hindrance if I decide to pursue teaching. . I know how such blemishes on one's record can look and I understand that, however, I'm not a criminal, an outlaw, a drunkard, or social degenerate of any kind. I was a kid and made choices that reflect the typical poor judgment that kids that age often make. Said citations are not indicative of my character.

    So far, what I've been able to collect on the issue of underage drinking citations\Summary offenses is that the state of Pennsylvania can not deny anyone the right to earn a teaching certification based on such minor infractions. On the other hand each individual district has complete discretion in regard to how they factor in such elements of an applicant's history.

    So, my first question is. . . Did any of you actually have any summary offenses on your record previous to becoming a teacher? Secondly, does anyone happen to have any useful information on the issue? Even if what you may know only pertains to your state or district it would be great to know as I could start to consider possible locations of employment. If it's just something that Pennsylvania as a whole tends to frown upon and would be a large enough hindrance in my endeavors I wouldn't think twice about relocation. Thanks in advance to anyone that may provide some useful insight!
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 17, 2011

    In my state, those offenses are taken into consideration, but won't necessarily deny you a job. What they are going to look at is how you conducted yourself in the years since you received the offenses.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jan 17, 2011

    While those offenses may indeed present a challenge, if you present yourself as well in person as you just did in that one little post, something tells me you'll be able to overcome those challenges. You came across to me as well spoken, logical, and rational. You took ownership of your mistakes and told us how you've grown up since then. If I was interviewing you, that would count for a lot more than the offenses themselves.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 17, 2011

    My BIL had two MIPs when he was younger. He had no problems getting a job.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jan 17, 2011

    If you were under 18 at the time, they are juvenile offenses an I don't think even need to be mentioned as those records are usually sealed.
     
  7. TxMaThTeAcHeR

    TxMaThTeAcHeR Rookie

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    Jan 20, 2011

    I had a DUI in Minnesota (4 years ago), and was easily able to get a job. They didn't even ask me about it :)
     
  8. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I don't think your citations will be much of an issue, especially if you explain them away as well as you just did.

    In some parts of the country teachers are finding job hunting very competitive, though. Maybe a little research in your area on hiring could inform your decisions. I think you're wise to have a content area degree with ed classes added on.

    Also, don't forget education careers take many forms- private schools, tutoring programs, museums... Good luck!
     
  9. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jan 22, 2011

    That would be my understanding too. How would they even know, unless you mentioned it?
     
  10. Lindager

    Lindager Companion

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    Jan 22, 2011

    As far as i know juvenile offences are not reported, but you do not say how old you were. In PA 21 is the drinking age so if you were over 18 but under 21 they would show up on your record. The other question is how old are you now or how long ago were the offences? If they were when you were 18 or 19 and you are now 30 I think no one will care. If you are only 23 now they will hold more weight.

    We sometimes make stupid mistakes when we are young, it does not have to affect the rest of your life. It just may take a few years to prove you have changed your ways. If it has been many years you might also look into having the offenses expunged from your record. I have a friend who got busted for pot when he was 19, when he was about 40 he had his record expunged and became a police officer.
     
  11. Miss.Becky

    Miss.Becky New Member

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    Jan 23, 2011

    I'm still in school myself, but I do have experience with placement in schools, so I know how my situation is shaping up.
    I got an underage drinking citation when I was 18. So far, I've had two background checks for the two placements that I've had in schools.
    The first time I was in a rural county, and I had to set up a meeting with the hiring director to discuss my citation. I described the circumstances (which were very tame, just unfortunate, although that doesn't excuse the fact that I ignored the law). I said that I was planning on having my record expunged. He expressed the gravity of the situation, saying that teachers were expected to be models for their students. From what he said, he would choose another equal application over mine because of my indiscretion.
    Thus, I've worked very hard in school and have built up a stack of teachers/professors that will give me glowing letters of recommendation. But that still doesn't make up for my choices entirely.

    My second and upcoming placement hasn't had a problem with my record yet. My background check returned clean with no mention of the citation.

    So maybe in some cases it would be a problem, but not in others. Just letting you know what I've experienced this far in my educational journey! Hope it helps you a bit!
     
  12. BenSentWings

    BenSentWings New Member

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    Jan 26, 2011

    Thanks for all of the feedback, it's been very helpful. Ideally, I'll be about 27/28 when I graduate - putting the citations 7+ years behind me. I've also looked into the possibility of hiring lawyers to try to expunge the records. All in all it really does seem to boil down to district, demand, and a lot of other variables. Between further independent research and the feedback on here though I am very relieved as well as excited.
     

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