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Florida Department of Education Bureau of Professional Practices Services. Marian W. Lambeth Bureau Chief . Bureau of what? . Who are we and what do we do? . Bureau of Professional Practices Services. Investigates allegations of misconduct by: Certified Educators

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florida department of education bureau of professional practices services

Florida Department of Education Bureau of Professional Practices Services

Marian W. Lambeth

Bureau Chief

bureau of professional practices services
Bureau of Professional Practices Services
  • Investigates allegations of misconduct by:
    • Certified Educators
    • Applicants for Certification
What are the Standards?Florida Statutes: 1012.56, 1012.795 & 1012.796State Board Rule: 6B-1.001 & 6B-1.006
other pertinent statutes
Other pertinent statutes
  • 1012.32. Qualifications of Personnel
  • 1012.33. Contracts...
  • 1012.465. Background screening requirements / noninstructional
  • 1012.798. Recovery Network Program
precedent setting cases
Precedent Setting Cases
  • Adams v. State Professional Practices Council, 406 So.2d 1170 (Florida 1st DCA 1981)

“…it should be noted that educators are held to a more rigorous moral standard than other professionals because of their role in educating children.”

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  • Tomerlin v. Dade County School Board, 318 So. 2d 159 (FL 1st DCA 1975)

“…A school teacher holds a position of great trust. We entrust the custody of our children to the teacher. We look to the teacher to educate and to prepare out (sic) children for their adult lives. To fulfill this trust, the teacher must be of good moral character; to require less would jeopardize the future lives of our children.”

good moral character
Good Moral Character
  • Good Moral Character is a phrase used often in the statutes with regard to requirements needed to qualify for licensure or employment with the state. However, this phrase has never been defined by the legislature. Other statutes which refer to “good moral character”, such as Section 402.305, Florida Statutes, or Section 231.17(1)(e), Florida Statutes, are usually accompanied with a list of crimes involving moral turpitude for which an applicant, if found convicted would be disqualified from receiving licensure or employment.
  • Rule 6B-4.009(2), FAC defines immorality as:
    • “ Conduct that is inconsistent with the standards of public conscience and good morals. It is conduct sufficiently notorious to bring the individual concerned or the education profession into public disgrace or disrespect and impair the individual’s service to the community.”
moral turpitude
Moral Turpitude
  • Rules of the Florida Administrative Code do not provide a definition of “good moral character”. However, Rule 6B-4.009(6)FAC, defines moral turpitude as:
  • “ {A} crime that is evidenced by an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties, which, according to the accepted standards of the time a man owes to his or her fellow man or to society in general, and the doing of the act itself and not its prohibition by statute fixes moral turpitude.”
  • The Florida Supreme Court in Florida Board of Bar Examiners, 364 So.2d, 454, 458 (FL 1978) found that,
  • “A lack of “good moral character” should not be restricted to those acts that reflect moral turpitude. A more appropriate definition of the phrase requires an inclusion of acts and conduct which would cause a reasonable man to have substantial doubts about an individual’s honesty, fairness and respect for the rights of others and for the laws of the state and nation.”

Reference: McKenzie, III, Sydney H., Definition of Good Moral Character Memo to Ida S. Baker, 1989

Moral character goes “beyond the ability to distinguish right from wrong, but the character to observe the difference.”

Zemour, Inc. v. State Division of Beverage, 347 So.2d 1102 (Florida First DCA 1977)

jurisdictions and burdens of proof
Jurisdictions and Burdens of Proof
  • School Districts
      • employment matters
      • preponderance of the evidence
  • Professional Practices
      • Florida Educator’s Certificate
      • clear and convincing
  • Criminal Courts / Prosecutors
      • criminal charges
      • beyond a reasonable doubt
this process
This Process...
  • Provides for competent and ethical educators
  • Requires each public school district to establish policies and procedures to report misconduct of certified employees to the Bureau of Professional Practices.
  • Ensures the integrity of the education profession
examples of cases investigated
Examples of Cases Investigated
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Inappropriate Discipline
  • Inappropriate Comments
  • Conversion of District Funds/Property
  • Fraudulent Information
  • Standardized testing violations
  • Criminal Charges
  • Drug Use / Alcohol Abuse
  • Incompetence
  • Harassment
  • Voyeurism
  • Plagiarism
  • Credential Fraud
  • Other Professional Sanctions
what does the district send
What does the district send?
  • District Reporting Form
  • District Investigative Report
  • Victim / Witness Statements
  • Pertinent Documents
  • Physical Evidence
  • Photos
  • District Disciplinary Action
  • Class or Team Roster
  • EVERYTHING to Support your Case
review for sufficiency
Review for Sufficiency...
  • Determine Jurisdiction
  • Review of File and supporting documents.
  • What did the district do to discipline and / or prevent the re-occurrence of misconduct?
  • Question: Does the conduct rise to the level of a sanction against the certificate?
  • Further Action or No Further Action
what does pps do when a case is opened
What does PPS do when a case is opened...
  • Notify educator and district
  • Review file
  • Contact district / site administrator
  • Conduct interviews
  • Procure documents / evidence
  • Review file
  • Conduct Conference
  • Refer to Legal Counsel
  • Present to Commissioner of Education
Probable Cause/Denial

File a Complaint

Right to Appeal

Presented to Education Practices Commission

Final Agency Action by a Final Order

Order outlines sanctions

Sanctions must be fulfilled

Violations are prosecuted

Florida has a 3 strikes law

No Probable Cause

Case is closed with no disciplinary action

Notify educator, district, certification, counsel

No Further Action

Case is closed with no disciplinary action

Notify educator, district, certification, counsel

final order
Final Order
  • Issued by the Education Practices Commission
  • Outlines Sanctions against a Florida Educator’s Certificate
  • Obligation of the educator to fulfill the requirements of the order
  • Obligation of the site administrator to assist with the fulfillment of the order
  • Obligation of the district not to employ individuals who have been denied, suspended or revoked in any capacity that requires direct student contact
what does pps need from you
What does PPS need from you...
  • Assistance with site administrators understanding the investigative process
  • Assistance in procuring all documents and evidence associated with a case
  • Updated information on respondent status with your district
who has a code of ethics
Who has a Code of Ethics?

As a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, I pledge to exercisejudgment,

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) uphold high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct for interpreters.

Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

International Brotherhood of Magicians agree to

Code of Ethicsof the National Association of Social Workers

Code of Ethics of the American Library Association


Code of Ethics for Archivists


Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC)


Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses

For the Home Inspection Profession

Code of Ethicsof the American Anthropological Association

The National Press Photographers Association

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association Code of Ethics states the principles of ethical behavior that should be followed in the practice of athletic training.

Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.

how do we stop educator misconduct
How do we stop educator misconduct?
  • Enlighten
  • Train
  • Help
  • Illustrate
  • Coach
  • Support
knowledge is power
Knowledge is Power
  • 1) Inform your staff of the obligation to uphold the code of conduct
  • 2) Impress the value and honor of the profession
  • 3) Exemplify being a role model
  • 4) Adherence to the code is applicable 24/7
  • 5) Violations of the code could result in discipline at employment level and certificate levels.
  • 6) Affirm and ensure that violations of the code will not be tolerated.

eth·ic ( th k)  Pronunciation Keyn.

    • A set of principles of right conduct.
    • A theory or a system of moral values: “An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain” (Gregg Easterbrook).
  • ethics(used with a sing. verb) The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.
  • ethics(used with a sing. or pl. verb) The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics.
  • Ethics. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Ethics
positions of great trust
Positions of Great Trust

Educators hold positions of great trust.

As members of a licensed profession educators have an obligation to students, the public and to the profession to uphold ethical standards. As a society, we trust educators with something of value; therefore, we expect they will always conduct themselves in a manner beyond reproach and afford us unquestionable trust.

contact information

Contact Information

Bureau of Professional Practices Services

325 West Gaines Street, Suite 224-E

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

850.245.0438 850.245.0621

Marian W. Lambeth, Bureau Chief


Certified Educators

Sheree M. Fletcher, Program Director



Randy J. Amos, Program Director