|October 25, 2010 - Regular Meeting - UPDATED 10-19-10|
Agenda Item #39
Approval to Terminate the Employment of Joyce Taylor or Suspend Employee without Pay and Grant an Administrative Hearing, if a Hearing is Requested
Joyce Taylor ("Taylor") has been employed with the School District since August 17, 2009. Taylor is currently on paid administrative leave from her position as a Cafeteria Manager teacher at Lee Middle School.
During Memorial weekend in 2010, the foster daughter of Monique Rhodes (“Rhodes”), a cafeteria worker at Lee Middle School, visited with Taylor. During the visit, the child informed Taylor that her mom beat her, when questioned about a bruise on her neck. Despite reasonably suspecting that the child might be the victim of child abuse, Taylor failed to report the suspected child abuse to the central abuse hotline as required by Florida Statutes and School Board policy. Instead, Taylor voiced to Beth Haisley (“Haisley”), another fellow cafeteria worker at Lee Middle School that she was concerned that TJ was being abused. Haisley subsequently reported the suspected child abuse to the central abuse hotline.
Upon learning of the allegations of child abuse, Rhodes assumed that Taylor had reported the allegations and confronted Taylor. Taylor denied having made the call. Taylor then contacted Haisley and confirmed that Haisley had made the call to the central abuse hotline. Taylor then immediately contacted Rhodes and, in violation of Florida Statutes and School Board policy, informed Rhodes that Haisley had contacted the central abuse hotline, despite reasonably knowing that Rhodes would in turn threaten Haisley.
Rhodes threatened reprisal against Haisley, stating to Taylor, that she would be “gunning for [Haisley].” Taylor later falsely claimed that she had informed her supervisor, Rusty Moore, of the threats made by Rhodes. However, when questioned in the presence of Moore, Taylor changed her statement, indicating she may have been “confused” as to whom she informed and as such, Taylor failed to report Rhodes’ threats to her supervisor.
Engaged in misconduct in office as defined in Rule 6B-4.009(3), F.A.C. which provides that misconduct in office is a violation of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession as adopted in Rule 6B-1.001, F.A.C., and the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida as adopted in Rule 6B-1.006, F.A.C., which is so serious as to impair the individual’s effectiveness in the school system;
violated Rule 6B-1.001(2), F.A.C., which states the educator’s primary professional concern will always be for the student and that the employee must exercise the best professional judgment and integrity;
Violated Rule 6B-1.001(3), F.A.C., which states the educator must strive to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct;
Violated section 39.201(1)(a), Florida Statutes (2009), which requires that any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the Department of Children and Families;
Violated section 39.202(8), Florida Statutes (2009) which prohibits a person from knowingly or willfully making public or disclosing to any unauthorized person any confidential information contained in the central abuse hotline;
Violated policy 5.2(4) of the Policies and Procedures Manual of the School Board of Manatee County, which provides that it is the responsibility of the first employee who has “reasonable cause” to suspect abuse to report it to the central abuse hotline and to do so immediately;
Violated Rule 6B-1.006(3)(a), F.A.C., which requires that the individual make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental and/or physical health and/or safety;
Violated Rule 6B-1.006(5)(c), F.A.C., which requires that the individual shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities;
Violated Rule 6B-1.006(5)(d), F.A.C., which requires that the individual shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from harassment or discrimination which unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance of professional or work responsibilities; and
Violated Rule 6B-1.006(5)(a), F.A.C., which requires that the individual shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
Taylor’s actions described above constitute just cause under section 6.11 of the Policies and Procedures of the School Board of Manatee County and therefore, the Superintendent recommends approval to terminate the employment of the Employee or suspend the Employee without pay and grant an administrative hearing, if a hearing is requested.
(1) Approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to terminate the employment of Joyce Taylor, effective October 26, 2010, if no hearing is requested; or
(2) Grant the request for a hearing and suspend the Employee without pay effective October 26, 2010, pending the outcome of the hearing, if a hearing is requested.
If the Employee is suspended without pay and benefits and following an evidentiary hearing, if requested, the Employee is reinstated, the Employee may be awarded back pay for the period of the suspension.
Scott A. Martin/mjb
Attachment: TAYLOR Administrative Complaint SIGNED 100410.doc.pdf