In the past decade, over two hundred Colorado educators have been indelibly banished from their classrooms for a variety of criminal behaviors, including drug use, theft, and improper relations with students. Like anyone else facing legal charges, Colorado teachers banned for criminal behavior have a right to competent legal counsel.
An investigation by FOX31 Denver discovered that the sole reason for relieving a teacher of their post during this period was felony-level criminal allegations or reporting untrue answers concerning lesser crimes on the teaching certificate application.
In March 2006, Karla Danzeisen was discharged as the Spanish teacher at a Denver-area high school while being allowed to keep her teaching certificate. On the record, the reason given for her dismissal was “incompetency, insubordination, and neglect of duty.” The Colorado Board of Education revoked Ms. Danzeisen’s certificate in January 2009 when she was convicted of a drug-related felony after reportedly teaching while high and doing drugs with her students. Currently, Ms. Danzeisen works with at-risk students at a Christian-based treatment facility where her employers and students’ parents know about her history.
Danzeisen’s decertification file is only one of 225 revocation cases reviewed by FOX31 Denver. Of those cases:
- Thirty-three teachers lost their licenses for reported association with drugs
- Thirty-four lost their licenses for stealing from their schools
- Fifty-seven were decertified for alleged violent behaviors
- Eighty-eight involved allegations of sexual improprieties
Teachers and Certified Educators Charged with a Crime
Irrefutable consequences follow whenever a public or private certified educator or teacher is arrested for, or charged with a criminal offense. The same is true for college and graduate students intent on pursuing a career in education.
Background checks for teachers are mandatory in Colorado and drug-related convictions- even misdemeanor and petty offense drug convictions- can mean losing your job as an educator. Included under the heading of teacher are:
- Substitute teachers
- Principals and administrators
- Special service providers
- Literacy instructors and speech pathology assistants
- Adjunct instructors
- JROTC, career, and technical instructors
- Other school-related professions
Convictions That Mandate Termination
The following convictions require school districts to revoke a teacher’s certification:
- Felony drug offense
- Indecent exposure
- Felony domestic violence
- Felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior
- Crime of violence
- Felony child abuse
Criminal courts, including the Colorado Judicial District Court, are required to report certain crimes to the Colorado Board of Education. This happens when a defendant who is a current or former employee of a school district is convicted, pleads no contest, or receives a deferred sentence for any felony.
After years of hard work and effort, losing your teacher certification is unfathomable. Don’t gamble with your future. Contact an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer today.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Boulder, contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 or click here to contact us online and start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.