Filing a Moral Character Complaint (Teacher Discipline)
The Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) investigates allegations concerning the moral character of individuals who hold or who are applicants for New York State teaching certificates, or about illegal practice of the profession by an uncertified person. Under the law, School District Superintendents must file a report with the Department upon knowledge that a certificate holder has been convicted of a crime or has committed an act that raises a reasonable question about the individual’s moral character.
Complaints against certificate holders including teachers, administrators and school service workers, e.g., school counselors, should, in most cases, be filed with the Department only after the matter has been reported and addressed for remedial action by the appropriate authorities at the local level, including school building principals, superintendents of schools and State and/or local police.
Any person who knows that a certificate holder or an applicant for a teaching certificate has been convicted of a crime, or has committed an act which raises a reasonable question as to the individual’s moral character, may file a written complaint with the Department. Complaints submitted must be signed and dated by the individual filing the complaint.
Complaints received by the Department will be reviewed pursuant to Part 83 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to determine the appropriate action.