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Teachers sometimes must make crucial decisions that could affect the rest of their careers and lives. These decisions may need to be made quickly without an opportunity to consult with chapter representatives. Listed below is general information about your rights to assist you in critical situations. It does not provide legal advice.

In the classroom teachers have the right to:

  • suspend students from class for two days. (EC 48910)
  • be informed of students’ violent, criminal, harassing, or threatening conduct. (EC 49079)
  • make the final decision as to student grades. (EC 49066)
  • be notified within a reasonable time before a parent visits your classroom. (EC 49091.10)
  • keep accurate and on-going records of student discipline.
  • With administrators, teachers have the right to:
  • ask what a meeting’s purpose is before attending.
  • be represented in meetings that might lead to discipline.
  • request unusual directives in writing before complying.
  • give no explanations until after consulting with a staff representative.
  • refuse to submit a written statement until after consulting with a staff representative.
  • remain silent and consult a lawyer if accused of conduct that could lead to criminal prosecution.

Concerning parents:

  • Parents are liable for willful misconduct of minor children that causes injury. (EC 48904)
  • A parent who disrupts a class or school activity is guilty of a misdemeanor. (EC 4481 I)
  • If a parent meeting becomes unpleasant, immediately stop and demand attendance of a union representative or administrator.
  • Teachers should keep a record of all parent and administrator meetings on file at home.
  • Teachers have a right to know specific details including the identity of those who make complaints against them.