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Teacher fired for reporting abuse, alleges wrongful termination

There are very strict rules and regulations when it comes to how those who work with children are to report abuse of any kind. However, there may also be a hierarchy or process in place for individual schools and school districts for reporting alleged incidents. Despite any rules for reporting abuse, any Colorado teacher who feels they were the victim of wrongful termination due to reporting anything may want to follow the story of one teacher's legal claims.

The teacher in question has filed a lawsuit against both the school and the principal where she was employed. She was an English teacher and contends that a female student confided in her about a sexual assault by two boys. The girl asked the teacher to not go to officials. She chose to contact the state Department of Children and Family Services, reportedly believing it was her duty under the law.

Two weeks after reporting the incident, the teacher was fired. The principal of the high school says the teacher had no right to contact authorities or to discuss the incident with the student. Her official reason for the termination of employment was "gross insubordination." The teacher also says she has been threatened by the alleged abusers via text messages.

A case of wrongful termination can be complicated to prove, particularly when a boss or other authority figure gives another reason for the firing. Anyone in Colorado who feels wrongful termination played a role in their work situation may benefit from knowing what kind of evidence or proof may be admissible in pursuing a civil claim, such as messages or evaluations. In cases where whistleblower status may apply or reporting of abuse is part of the job, knowing the standard procedures of how, when and/or to whom to report abuse may also be beneficial.

Source: NBC Chicago, Ex-Teacher Files Wrongful Termination Suit After Sexting Scandal, Phil Rogers, Dec. 13, 2013

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