School system employees: notify system when charged with crime

If you are a Fayette County school teacher and you get busted by the cops for anything above a traffic ticket, you have to report yourself to the principal.

That’s the gist of a new Fayette County School System policy under consideration by the Board of Education.

Human Resources Director Reanee Ellis in commenting on the policy noted that much of what is contained in it is already found other policies and is covered in the ethics training given to school system employees.

The policy states that, “Any school system employee who is arrested, charged, indicted, bound over by or to a grand jury, convicted or enters a plea or who is nolle prosecuted (charges are dropped) for or to any crime or criminal offense in the State of Georgia or elsewhere whether the crime or criminal offense is a felony or misdemeanor, shall report each and all of these events, occasions, or developments to his/her principal/supervisor within 24 hours after the arrest or legal action or immediately upon the employee’s return to work, whichever comes first. The principal/supervisor shall immediately forward this information to the Director of Human Resources.”

Ellis said the policy is not meant to include minor traffic violations such as speeding and parking tickets. A DUI charge, however, would require reporting. Ellis also noted that while a person is presumed innocent there may a need to be reassign the individual depending on the charge.

The policy also states that the employee will:

• Provide a verbal report of the circumstances surrounding the arrest;

• Provide a copy of the arrest citation, motor vehicle accident report or any other narrative explanation of the arrest generated by the arresting officer/jurisdiction;

• Disclose all subsequent facts relative to the charges, all court dates and the disposition of the matter within 24 hours after that information becomes available to the employee;

• Cooperate fully with any school system investigation of the matter; and

• Be aware that failure to adhere to these directives may result in a determination that the employee has committed an act of insubordination and may be subject to disciplinary action.