Generally, in South Carolina, employees are at-will, which means the employee may be dismissed for any reason or no reason at all without notice. But teachers’ legal status is an exception to at-will employment.
In South Carolina we have the Teacher Employment and Dismissal Act. Such law specifies that before a teacher, who is under a continuing contract, can be terminated or his or her contract not be renewed, the district must have substantial evidence of that teacher’s unfitness for teaching.
Further, prior to such action, the district must give the teacher written notice specifying the reasons for the recommended dismissal or nonrenewal and advise the teacher of his or her right to have an evidentiary hearing to contest the recommended dismissal.
State Board Discipline
If the State receives notice of possible misconduct of a teacher, the State Board of Education may, for just cause, either revoke or suspend the certificate of the teacher. "Just cause" may consist of any one or more of the following:
Willful neglect of duty;
Willful violation of the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education;
Crime against the law of this State or the United States;
Any conduct involving moral turpitude;
Evident unfitness for position for which employed; or
Sale or possession of narcotics.
However, no certificate may be revoked or suspended unless written notice specifying the cause has been given to the teacher by the State Board of Education and a hearing has been afforded to the teacher.
Within fifteen days after receipt of notice of revocation or suspension, the teacher may request a hearing before the Board. Within fifteen days following the hearing, the Board shall render its written order accordingly either affirming, withdrawing, or modifying the notice of revocation or suspension.
The findings of fact by the State Board of Education are final and conclusive. The teacher may, within thirty days, appeal to the Administrative Law Court to review errors of law only.
If you have any questions about Teachers’ employment and certificate issues, please feel free to contact Arnold Law Firm by email or by phone at 864.242.2427 for a confidential consultation. When you leave Arnold Law Firm, you will know your rights and legal options.