Personal Legal Troubles: Do I Report to My Employer?

Educators are human and just like other humans, they make mistakes. So, after the shock of being arrested and charged with any misdemeanor or felony, the next question usually is: do I have to report this to my employer? The simple answer is YES!

Educators are held to a much higher standard than other workers because they serve as role models for students at school and in the community. Educators exert significant influence on students and their development—who they are, who they become, and how they relate to others. With this status comes additional responsibilities and expectations.

That’s why all boards of education have policies which protect students and the school environment by requiring employees to immediately self-report any charges, arrests, or convictions. If you don’t self-report, your employer will discover the infraction through a report generated by the Maryland Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS). If the employer learns of the activity from CJIS and not you, your failure to self-report will result in disciplinary consequences for a violation of board of education policy. It is much better, despite any fear and anxiety about doing so, to contact your local UniServ director for guidance.

Local boards of education adopt these policies to maintain a safe and secure environment for students and staff. For example, an employee who is charged with an assault off school property and on personal time raises a concern about possible volatile behavior at work which could be directed at students or fellow staff. While a report of an arrest and charge is not a presumption of guilt, the employer will take steps to determine the potential impact on the safety of the work environment.

If you run into legal troubles, call your local UniServ director for guidance on how to self-report.

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