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How to Handle Staff Misconduct - Book Cover

How to Handle Staff Misconduct

A Practical Guide for School Principals and Supervisors
Second Edition
By: C. Edward Lawrence, Myra K. Vachon

Updated Edition of Bestseller!

Dealing with staff misconduct is time-consuming and emotionally draining for school administrators and others involved. The challenge requires up-to-date information and a steadfast commitment on the part of the administrator.

The authors present updated, crucial information and tools for handling misconduct and guides administrators how to:

  • Deal with difficult questions from parents, students, attorneys, board members, superintendents, and others
  • Handle racial or gender bias issues
  • Determine the validity of certain misconduct charges
  • Handle cases of theft, fraud, insubordination, and misconduct outside of school
  • Handle abusive and profane language
  • Stop misconduct before it happens

Full description

How to Handle Staff Misconduct - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9780761938156
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2003
  • Page Count: 144
  • Publication date: January 15, 2003

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Updated Edition of Bestseller!

"How to Handle Staff Misconduct has simplified the process with its step-by-step format and has removed a lot of the emotions that have previously gone into addressing staff misconduct issues. I've had occasions to put the steps into play and have found them to be logical and straightforward."
Anne Hutcheson, Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel
Bellefonte Area School District, Pennsylvania

"Lawrence and Vachon did an outstanding job of writing guidelines that deal with the core aspects of supervision and documentation without becoming embroiled in state law issues and differences. I wish that I had this book as a guideline when I became a principal. I would have used it to train new hires on my administrative team."
Mary A. King, Director of High School Services
Texas Association of Secondary School Principals

What administrators must know about staff misbehavior and the steps to correct it

Ever-changing laws regarding sexual harassment, teacher accountability, and safety in the workplace, combined with increasingly complex union contracts, have made the handling of staff misconduct a veritable minefield for novice and experienced administrators alike. Fortunately, this expanded and updated second edition of an indispensable resource will clarify all of the steps principals must take to ensure that their schools are run according to the policies and laws that govern them.

In clearly delineated sections, How to Handle Staff Misconduct, Second Edition, offers strategies that include managing excessive tardiness, insubordination, misconduct requiring suspension, and even criminal behaviors. Each section includes an outline of principal responsibilities, and common errors that can interfere with a successful intervention.

In addition, the authors demonstrate:

  • How to use progressive discipline to fairly correct unwanted behaviors
  • How to set up a school-level misconduct meeting
  • Why just cause is a key defense against legal backlash
  • How due process can avoid technical errors during a disciplinary action
  • Why privacy is paramount

Covering everything from the first day of school to the first sign of an infraction, this book guides administrators through all phases of investigation and documentation, and remains an essential resource for any principal or supervisor trying to keep students and staff focused on education.



C. Edward Lawrence photo

C. Edward Lawrence

C. Edward Lawrence, president of the Lawrence Educational Consulting Group, has advised many school districts on how to prepare and win unsatisfactory staff member evaluation and misconduct cases. Dr. Lawrence has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of education—he has served as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, author, and professor. For the past twelve years, Dr. Lawrence has inspired future educators as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from West Virginia State University, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the Marquette University, a certificate in administrative leadership, and a Ph.D. in urban education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Before his current position, he was the assistant superintendent for a large urban school district where he had an extensive educational career in public education. He served as a teacher, counselor, team leader, and assistant principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as principal at the elementary and middle school level, as director of alternative programs, and as a community superintendent. In addition, he served as a hearing officer for unsatisfactory teacher evaluations, second-step misconduct, and immediate teacher suspensions. He was an adjunct instructor in the Department of Administrative Leadership teaching courses in clinical supervision and critical issues—including staff misconduct and evaluating the marginal teacher. Dr. Lawrence is first author of the following books: The Marginal Teacher: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fair Procedures for Identification and Dismissal (1993) (2nd edition 2001); How to Handle Staff Misconduct: A Step-by-Step Guide (1995) (2nd edition 2003); and The Incompetent Specialist: How to Evaluate, Document Performance, and Dismiss School Staff (1996).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Progressive Discipline Charts

A Cautionary Note


About the Author


Part I: General Procedures to Handle Misconduct

1. Strategies to Handle Misconduct

Just Cause

Due Process

Progressive Discipline

2. The Misconduct Investigation

Victim/Witness Statement Form

Diagram of the Human Body

Police Records

Photographs and Videotaping

3. School-Level Misconduct Meeting

Part II: Administrative Misconduct Handled by the Principal

4. Unexcused Absence and Excessive Tardiness

5. Neglect of Duty

6. Abuse, Insulting, or Profane Language

7. Corporal Punishment

8. Insubordination

Part III: Serious Misconduct Requiring Immediate Suspension

9. The Immediate Suspension Conference With Hearing Officer

10. The School Board Hearing

Part IV: Criminal Misconduct

11. Sexual Misconduct

12. Abuse of Controlled Substances

13. Theft and Fraud

14. Criminal Misconduct Outside the School Setting


Resource A: Standards of Acceptable Conduct for Staff Members

Resource B: Letter to Schedule an Oral Reprimand Conference

Resource C: Major Components of an Oral Warning

Resource D: Letter to Schedule a Misconduct Meeting

Resource E: First Letter of Reprimand - Major Components

Resource F: Second Letter of Reprimand - Major Components

Resource G: Allegation of Staff Misconduct Standard Report Form

Resource H: Diagram of Human Body

Resource I: Misconduct Meeting at the School Level

Resource J: Misconduct Meeting With Hearing Officer

Resource K: Letter to the Media About Criminal Misconduct





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.