Can a District Punish Teachers for Advocating for Children with Disabilities?

teacher-309533_640I occasionally get a call from a teacher who is afraid of some adverse employment action that might be taken by their school district because they are advocating for special needs children. This is an important issue. The law does protect teachers as it protects others who are advocating for special needs children. The laws that cover children with disabilities also cover retaliation claims. If a school district retaliates against somebody either for standing up themselves for their own disability or for advocating on the behalf of somebody else because of their disability, action can be taken to stop that.
Teachers and therapists in the schools have their own professional obligations. For example, an occupational therapist has her obligations to maintain her license and to provide advice that she believes in, and if the school district is threatening her because they don’t like her advocating for services for a particular child or something like that, she can certainly be protected from adverse employment action. If there’s a teacher out there who has those kinds of concerns, she should definitely speak to a lawyer before employment action is taken so that the school district can be stopped from taking that action. If action has already been taken, she has rights in court to hold them responsible.
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced education attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.