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What is the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act?

AROUND ARKANSAS -- Amidst the allegations and arrest of former Fayetteville athletic director Barry Gebhart, the district has to follow strict protocol when dismissing a teacher.
AROUND ARKANSAS -- Amidst the allegations and arrest of former Fayetteville athletic director Barry Gebhart, the district has to follow strict protocol when dismissing a teacher.

"These have been lined out, they've been well reasoned, they're based on actual court cases throughout the history of the state. Just follow the procedure and if you do that, then everything will go as it's supposed to."

The Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act explains a superintendent has the power to suspend an employee and, based on their recommendation, the Board of Education has the power to terminate.

"The salary will continue for the person on suspension until the board acts on the suspension... At the moment their resignation is accepted, that person is no longer an employee of the school district," said Alan Wilbourn with Fayetteville Public Schools.

Gebhart was arrested for Internet Stalking of a Child and was on paid administrative leave, until his resignation was accepted Friday.

"We followed every line and verse of the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act in this case as we do in all these cases that come up and they're pretty rare, but when it does come up, there are very clear guidelines on how you have to go and it's state law, you don't have a choice... In cases involving a police investigation, we have to cooperate fully with them as we are in this case."

And Wilbourn knows following the proper protocol outlined by state law is in the best interest of every party involved.

"It sets out very clear parameters about how a staff person can be dismissed from an Arkansas public school... You don't want to get yourself into a situation where you act rashly and then all of a sudden find out well, you've broken the law and everything that you did has no effect, is not legal, so then you're going to have to go to court and it just makes it a much messier situation."

Almost every state has it's own set of guidelines and parameters on how to fairly dismiss a state employee or public school employee. There may be slight differences, but protocols are set in place.



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