Suspension of Michele Taylor's Teaching Certificate Upheld
Administrative law judge Johnette Sullivan has ruled in favor of the East Valley School District and the state superintendent's office, and has upheld the state's one year suspension of Michele Taylor's teaching certificate.
The state decided to suspend Taylor's teaching certificate for unprofessional conduct. She's accused of texting a student thousand times and another student 350 times. Taylor testified during the hearing about the potential suspension that she didn't think that texting the students would be considered fostering a relationship.
Taylor was acquitted of criminal sexual misconduct involving two of her students and has been on paid leave since June 2009.
The state superintendent's office tells us that Taylor has ten days from the time the order was signed---which was Tuesday--to file an appeal of judge Sullivan's decision. The deadline for that is August 31st. If another Administrative law judge hearing is held, that decision would be final.
Taylor can also choose to ask for a judicial review within thirty days---but that would start the clock on her suspension and remove her from paid leave.
As of now, Taylor would have to reapply for reinstatement with the superintendent's office if the suspension is served. To do so, she would have to complete courses in the proper replationship between teachers and students and the proper interaction between teachers and students. Taylor would be responsible for the costs of those programs.
The state originally issued a complete revocation of Taylor's certificate, but that was reduced to the one year suspension by an advisory appeals committee. An East Valley district attorney tells us the district would have preferred a termination, but is satisfied with today's result. Both Taylor and her attorney declined to comment.