DAR File No. 39837

This rule was published in the November 1, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 21) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Education, Administration

Rule R277-207

Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission (UPPAC), Disciplinary Rebuttable Presumptions

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 39837
Filed: 10/15/2015 03:08:38 PM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this new rule is to establish rebuttable presumptions for UPPAC and Utah State Board of Education (board) review of UPPAC cases.

Summary of the rule or change:

The new rule provides disciplinary presumptions for UPPAC and the board when considering whether to issue disciplinary letters or take action following a UPPAC investigation; and incorporates new mandatory revocations from H.B. 345, from the 2015 General Session.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Art. X, Sec. 3
  • Subsection 53A-1-401(3)
  • Section 53A-6-306

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

There is likely no cost or savings to the state budget. The new rule provides presumptions for UPPAC and the board to consider when disciplining a licensed educator.

local governments:

There is likely no cost or savings to local government. The new rule provides presumptions for UPPAC and the board to consider when disciplining a licensed educator.

small businesses:

There is likely no cost or savings to small businesses. The new rule provides presumptions for UPPAC and the board to consider when disciplining a licensed educator.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There is likely no cost or savings to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities. The new rule provides presumptions for UPPAC and the board to consider when disciplining a licensed educator.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are likely no compliance costs for affected persons. The new rule provides presumptions for UPPAC and the board to consider when disciplining a licensed educator.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

To the best of my knowledge, there should be no fiscal impact on businesses resulting from this new rule.

Brad C. Smith, State Superintendent

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Education
Administration
250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at angie.stallings@schools.utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

12/01/2015

This rule may become effective on:

12/08/2015

Authorized by:

Angela Stallings, Associate Superintendent, Policy and Communication

RULE TEXT

R277. Education, Administration.

R277-207. Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission (UPPAC), Disciplinary Rebuttable Presumptions.

R277-207-1. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This rule is authorized by:

(a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which vests general control and supervision over public education in the Board;

(b) Section 53A-6-306, which directs the Board to adopt rules regarding UPPAC duties and procedures; and

(c) Subsection 53A-1-401(3), which allows the Board to adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities.

(2) The purpose of this rule is to establish rebuttable presumptions for UPPAC and Board review of UPPAC cases.

 

R277-207-2. Rebuttable Presumptions.

(1) UPPAC and the Board shall consider the rebuttable presumptions in this section when evaluating a case of educator misconduct.

(2)(a) Revocation is presumed appropriate if an educator:

(i) is subject to mandatory revocation under Subsection 53A-6-501(5)(b);

(ii) is convicted of, admits to, or is found pursuant to an evidentiary hearing to have engaged in viewing child pornography, whether real or simulated, on or off school property;

(iii) is convicted three or more times of any combination of drug, alcohol, violence, or sexual offenses in the three years previous to the most recent conviction;

(iv) is convicted of an offense that requires the educator to register as a sex offender under Subsection 77-41-105(3);

(v) except as provided in Subsection (2)(c), is convicted of any felony; or

(vi) intentionally provides alcohol or illegal drugs to a minor.

(b) Early release or work release permitted by the jail may not be considered by UPPAC or the Board for purposes of calculating the jail time in Subsection (2)(a)(iii).

(c) An educator who is convicted of a felony may apply for a reinstatement hearing if the educator's felony is:

(i) expunged; or

(ii) reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Section 76-3-402.

(3) Suspension of three years or more is presumed appropriate if an educator:

(a) engages in a boundary violation of a sexually suggestive nature that is not sexually explicit conduct;

(b) is convicted of child abuse if the conduct results in a conviction of a class A misdemeanor or higher;

(c) is convicted of an offense that results in the educator being placed on court supervision for three or more years; or

(d) is convicted of intentional theft or misappropriation of public funds.

(4) Suspension of one to three years is presumed appropriate, if an educator:

(a) willfully or knowingly creates, views, or gains access to sexually inappropriate material on school property or using school equipment;

(b) is convicted of one or more misdemeanor violence offenses in the last 3 years;

(c) is convicted of using physical force with a minor if the conviction is a class B misdemeanor or lower;

(d) engages in repeated incidents of or a single egregious incident of excessive physical force or discipline to a child or student that:

(i) does not result in a criminal conviction; and

(ii) does not meet the circumstances described in Subsection 53A-11-802(2);

(e) threatens a student physically, verbally, or electronically;

(f) engages in a pattern of inappropriately fraternizing with a student under a circumstance not described in Subsection (3)(a);

(g) engages in multiple incidents or a pattern of theft or misappropriation of public funds that does not result in a criminal conviction;

(h) attends a school or school-related activity in an assigned employment-related capacity while possessing, using, or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;

(i) is convicted of two drug-related offenses or alcohol-related offenses in the three years previous to the most recent conviction;

(j) engages in a pattern of or a single egregious incident of:

(i) harassing;

(ii) bullying; or

(iii) threatening a co-worker or community member;

(k) knowingly and deliberately falsifies or misrepresents information on an education-related document; or

(l) knowingly and deliberately teaches, counsels, or assists a student in a manner that undermines or disregards the lawful, express directives of a parent.

(5) A short-term suspension is presumed appropriate if an educator:

(a) has three or more incidents of inappropriate conduct that would otherwise warrant lesser discipline; or

(b) fails to report to appropriate authorities suspected child or sexual abuse.

(6) A letter of admonition, letter of warning, or letter of reprimand, with or without probation, is presumed appropriate if an educator:

(a) engages in a miscellaneous minimal boundary violation with a student or minor, whether physical, electronic, or verbal;

(b) engages in minimal inappropriate physical contact with a student;

(c) engages in unprofessional communications or conduct with a student, co-worker, community member, or parent;

(d) engages in an inappropriate discussion with a student that violates state or federal law;

(e) knowingly violates a requirement or procedure for special education needs;

(f) knowingly violates a standardized testing protocol;

(g) is convicted of one of the following with or without court probation:

(i) a single driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs offense under Section 41-6a-502;

(ii) impaired driving under Section 41-6a-502.5; or

(iii) a charge that contains identical or substantially similar elements to the state's driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs law or under the law of another state or territory;

(h) carelessly mismanages public funds or fails to accurately account for receipt and expenditure of public funds entrusted to the educator's care;

(i) fails to make a report required by Rule R277-516;

(j) is convicted of one or two misdemeanor offenses not otherwise listed;

(k) engages in an activity that constitute or create the appearance of a conflict of interest with the educator's professional responsibility; or

(l) engages in other minor violations of the Utah Educator Standards in Rule R277-515.

(7) In considering a presumption described in this section, UPPAC or the Board shall consider deviating from the presumptions if:

(a) the presumption does not involve a revocation mandated by statute; and

(b) aggravating or mitigating factors exist that warrant deviation from the presumption.

(8) An aggravating factor may include the following:

(a) the educator has engaged in prior misconduct;

(b) the educator presents a serious threat to a student;

(c) the educator's misconduct directly involved a student;

(d) the educator's misconduct involved a particularly vulnerable student;

(e) the educator's misconduct resulted in physical or psychological harm to a student;

(f) the educator violated multiple standards of professional conduct;

(g) the educator's attitude does not reflect responsibility for the misconduct or the consequences of the misconduct;

(h) the educator's misconduct continued after investigation by the LEA or UPPAC;

(i) the educator holds a position of heightened authority as an administrator;

(j) the educator's misconduct had a significant impact on the LEA or the community;

(k) the educator's misconduct was witnessed by a student;

(l) the educator was not honest or cooperative in the course of UPPAC's investigation;

(m) the educator was convicted of crime as a result of the misconduct; and

(n) any other factor that, in the view of UPPAC or the Board, warrants a more serious consequence for the educator's misconduct.

(9) A mitigating factor may include the following:

(a) the educator's misconduct was the result of strong provocation;

(b) the educator was young and new to the profession;

(c) the educator's attitude reflects recognition of the nature and consequences of the misconduct and demonstrates a reasonable expectation that the educator will not repeat the misconduct;

(d) the educator's attitude suggests amenability to supervision and training;

(e) the educator has little or no prior disciplinary history;

(f) since the misconduct, the educator has an extended period of misconduct-free classroom time;

(g) the educator was a less active participant in a larger offense;

(h) the educator's misconduct was directed or approved, whether implicitly or explicitly, by a supervisor or person in authority over the educator;

(i) the educator has voluntarily sought treatment or made restitution for the misconduct;

(j) there was insufficient training or other policies that might have prevented the misconduct;

(k) any other factor that, in the view of UPPAC or the Board, warrants a less serious consequence for the educator's misconduct.

(10)(a) UPPAC and the Board have sole discretion to determine the weight they give to an aggravating or mitigating factor.

(b) The weight UPPAC or the Board give an aggravating or mitigating factor may vary in each case and any one aggravating or mitigating factor may outweigh some or all other aggravating or mitigating factors.

 

KEY: educator, disciplinary presumptions

Date of Enactment of Last Substantive Amendment: 2015

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law: Art X, Sec 3; 53A-6-306; 53A-1-401(3)

 


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2015/b20151101.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at angie.stallings@schools.utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.