School administrators, superintendents and principals in the public school system face a unique set of challenges when it comes to risk management. Teachers spend a significant amount of time around students, creating opportunities for them to discuss current events, leading to the sharing of controversial opinions. Teachers are expected to be role models to students. They are also acting on behalf of the state. Although they have the right to freedom of speech and their personal beliefs, teachers must be careful about the ideas and opinions that they share in class and on social media.
Understanding the Rights of Educators
Public school faculty members are entitled to certain teachers rights:
- Recognition for particular freedoms
- Protection from certain types of discrimination
- Protections against dismissal
- School choice for children
- Freedom to participate in religious practices off-campus
- Freedom to testify against the Board of Education
Teachers sometimes find themselves at odds with students’ parents for various reasons, including teaching methods, in-class speech. As someone responsible for public education, it’s important to understand what restrictions on teachers are allowed.
Covering Your Organization
Part of responsible risk management is having insurance to protect your organizations from claims, especially ones relating to teacher and student interaction. Seek out a company that specializes in educational liability insurance and other protections for your school operations.