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Support Personnel Strategies
If You Are Called into an Accusatory Meeting:
- Do not fail to go to the meeting if directed. Refusal to attend could constitute insubordination.
- Be professional. Do not overreact. If parents are involved, be on your absolute best behavior. Many employees have gotten into more trouble than was initially alleged, solely because of their unprofessional conduct toward administrators or parents in a meeting. Your calm and professional conduct when faced with an irate parent may actually score you points with the supervisor.
- If criminal allegations are made, politely ask that you be able to call the TSTA Help Center for more information. If criminal allegations are made, statements you make or sign can be used against you in a criminal proceeding. It might be best not to speak to anyone until you have spoken to an attorney.
- Write down your thoughts as soon as possible after the meeting.
- It is O.K. to sign for the receipt of a document in a meeting, as long as it is clear that your signature does not constitute an agreement. Indeed, failure to sign for the mere receipt of a document may do more harm than good.
- Do not sign a resignation statement until you have had sufficient time to discuss the matter with your family, friends, or TSTA.
How to Check Your Personnel File:
- According to the Texas Open Records Law, Government Code 552.021-552.023, you have the right to see your personnel file and should do so at least once a year-more often if you suspect potential trouble-to protect yourself against arbitrary and capricious actions by the district. There is no law that requires a school board to tell you what material is placed in your file, but you have the right to check it yourself. Take a colleague with you to check your file.
- Make a note of everything in your file, identifying all documents by date, title, and so on. Date the inventory list, sign it, and have your colleague sign it also. Keep your inventory list with your own personnel materials. You may never need to know what was in your file as of a certain date but if you do, you will have documentation and a witness to substantiate your testimony.
- Obtain copies of any documents you do not have that impact your employment. If you do not agree with one or more of the documents in your file, you have the right to attach your version.