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Notification of Alleged Educator Misconduct

Notice of any violation of the Utah Educator Standards R277-515 must be reported to the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission (UPPAC). 

Resources for School Districts and Charter Schools

Investigation Flow Chart
After misconduct is reported to UPPAC the following process is implemented from initial investigation to its completion.

Boundary Violation Flyer
District and Charter Schools can print the flyer and post on campus as reminders to educators, school staff, and administrators on the importance on professional boundaries.

What Ethical Violations Need to be Reported?

UPPAC Violation Codes
The Professional Practices Advisory Commission uses the following codes when opening an investigation.

In addition to the above codes, the following are cases that must be reported to UPPAC:

  • Any arrest and/or conviction for alleged sex offenses, alleged alcohol-related offenses, alleged drug-related offenses and alleged offenses against the person should be self-reported by the educator under law and state Board rule
  • Any allegation of sexual misconduct with a student
  • Any allegation of violence or harm to a student

The following are examples of the types of cases UPPAC has investigated. Most cases are fact specific and may vary from situation to situation. Not all of these case resulted in licensing action. Resolution of cases referred to UPPAC can range from dismissal to revocation. If you have a situation you are not sure about reporting to UPPAC, do not hesitate to call UPPAC Staff. While we cannot tell you whether the case would result in licensing action prior to an objective investigation, we can tell you if your situation should be reported.

This list is to serve as a guide when uncertain about whether to report profession misconduct:

Involving Students

Boundaries

Violence

Other Student Related 

Not Involving Students

Financial Mismanagement/Document Mismanagement

Other Employment Practices

Involving Students
Boundaries

  • extensive texting messaging with a student about non-school related matters
  • spending time on the weekends or in the summer with high school students
  • taking students to a rated R movie during a school-sponsored event conference
  • inappropriately spending time with one student after school hours, including tutoring at restaurants, giving rides home, and texting, even in the absence of allegations of sexual misconduct
  • taking several pictures of students despite principal directives NOT to photograph students (this investigation led UPPAC to discover the photographs were kept on the educator’s home computer in a “pleasure folder” with pornographic images of very young women)
  • sharing information with a student about the educator’s own personal marriage and feelings for another woman, also a teacher at the school
  • allegations of touching students inappropriately: shoulder rubbing, long front hugs, back massages, touching/petting hair

Violence

  • yelling at and threatening students, often using profanity. (In this case, the educator also used profanity against administrator during termination hearing.)
  • biting a student’s hand when the student put his hand to the teacher’s mouth
  • coaches verbally abusing, berating, and humiliating their players
  • allegation by a student that a teacher grabbed his arm and caused a mark, where the principal and district did not find the student credible, but where police and DCFS were involved

Other Student Related

  • providing prescription asthma medication to student
  • traveling abroad—even on a non-school sponsored trip—with students and engaging in inappropriate conversations about personal romantic fantasies, taking students to a nude beach and de-clothing
  • taping a student’s mouth shut, in jest (student later developed a rash due to allergic reaction)
  • allowing a student to take her keys and drive her car after school, during school play rehearsal (Student did not have valid driver’s license and was pulled over)
  • engaging in inappropriate and off-color comments to students and staff that were interpreted as being sexually offensive

Not Involving Students:
Financial Mismanagement/Document Mismanagement

  • falsifying invoices
  • holding an account outside of school for an extracurricular activity and depositing money from students into that account. (These investigations often reveal a great deal more deposits of public funds than the LEA may initially know of.)
  • purchasing items for school classroom and taking them home instead of using them at school
  • administrators signing off and/or approving purchases and programs that personally profit an employee

Other Employment Practices

  • privately teaching driver’s education without private driver’s education certificate
  • failing to report a suspected child abuse situation
  • giving students aides documents with confidential student information to copy and record
  • allowing students access to school computer and password in violation of district acceptable use policy; students then searched for inappropriate materials