In New Jersey, obtaining a teaching certificate is a difficult task, requiring a great deal of credentials. For the individuals who are issued a teaching certificate, it is a testament to the individual’s dedication, commitment, and passion for teaching. Therefore, if your certificate is at risk of being revoked or suspended, it is important to know your rights and whether to challenge such a determination.
The State Board of Examiners may revoke, suspend or deny a teacher’s certificate for many grounds set forth in the New Jersey Department of Education’s regulations in the New Jersey Administrative Code, N.J.A.C.§6A:9B-4.4. One of the grounds that the State Board of Examiners may revoke, suspend or deny a teaching certificate is on the basis of “conduct unbecoming a teacher.” Like many legal terms, “conduct unbecoming a teacher” is inherently broad and encompasses a wide variety of teacher activity. Due to its broad nature, a look into how courts have defined and analyzed “conduct unbecoming a teacher” is important if your certificate is being revoked, suspended or denied to determine whether to appeal the revocation or suspension.
Courts have defined “conduct unbecoming a teacher” in multiple ways including :