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Student attendance fraud leads to wrongful discharge of teacher

It is the responsibility of a teacher to keep accurate records of the attending students. This ensures that the school is compliant with regulations. If a Texas teacher is asked to alter information unethically, he or she may, in turn, decide to inform others of the request. Speaking out for what is right in the workplace may not always be rewarded with positive reinforcement, however. In some cases, it may lead to a wrongful discharge.

A former in-school suspension teacher was allegedly terminated in late 2013 after five years of service. During his tenure, he claims that he did not receive any disciplinary action or reason to believe that he would lose his job. In his report, he states that he was asked by the school principal to alter the in-school suspension roster by adding children who were serving out of school.

After he was requested to alter the documentation, he stated that he spoke with some authorities about the issue. He told the Texas State Teacher's Association representative what the principal had asked him to do. Additionally, he spoke to a state education agency to further research the attendance fraud claims.

The teacher claims that, after he started cooperating with authorities, the principal approached him and told him that he was not on the teacher's role. According to his claim, he still was. He then was told that he was terminated from his position.

A lawsuit was filed by the teacher after his whistleblower claim. He is seeking damages from his wrongful discharge. Texas employees who feel that they have been unjustly relieved of their duties can research filing a claim. If the case falls in favor of the employee, potential damages may be awarded as well as lost wages and possible reinstatement.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, Beaumont Independent School District sued by ex-teacher after fraud investigation, Joel Brakken, Jan. 14, 2014

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