Licensed professions frequently have standards of conduct to which its members are expected to adhere. In Florida, certified educators are held to standards of conduct as outlined in the Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rule. The Principles of Professional Conduct represent the guideposts of what professional educators and members of the community can and should expect from educators. They also serve as a reminder to the educator that there are obligations and expectations associated with the profession. In addition to the standards, the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices include professional responsibility and ethics as a foundational principle of the state’s teacher preparation programs, educator certification requirements and school district instructional personnel appraisal systems. These statutes and rules establish the groundwork for education professionals in Florida.
It is important to note that not all incidents of misconduct that may appear to violate the Principles of Professional Conduct warrant discipline against a certificate. Standards of ethical conduct represent the highest ideals of the education profession. Sometimes a violation of one or more of the standards is solely an employment matter and most appropriately handled by the employer; other times conduct may warrant more severe and significant action.
Unfortunately, educator misconduct occurs and is a serious concern for communities, schools, school districts and states across the country. The safety of Florida’s students is of the utmost importance, and adherence to the professional code of conduct is only one of several essential components through which we ensure the care of students, the integrity of the profession and the respect of the community. In addition to the harm it may cause to our students, educator misconduct disgraces the community and denigrates the profession. Our goal is to reduce educator misconduct through enhancing educators' knowledge and understanding of their professional obligations and the potential consequences of misconduct. This webpage provides many resources to help educators better understand the process of investigation and prosecution of educator misconduct.
What is the Department of Education’s Office of Professional Practices Services and what does this office do?
The Florida Department of Education Office of Professional Practice Services administers a state-level grievance process and plays an integral part in ensuring that appropriate disciplinary actions are taken against the certificate of an educator certified to teach in Florida. The Office of Professional Practices Services (PPS) investigates alleged misconduct by educators in Florida who hold an educator’s certificate and pursues disciplinary actions against the certificates of educators found to have committed acts of misconduct. The PPS investigates when facts are presented which show a violation has occurred as provided in s. 1012.796, Florida Statutes, and defined by rules of the State Board of Education. Such facts provide the basis to further investigate whether the educator has broken the law or violated the Principles of Professional Conduct, which outline the standards of conduct expected of certified educators in Florida.
Marian W. Lambeth Chief
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400