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Old 07-07-2009, 09:43 PM
 
2 posts, read 97,682 times
Reputation: 16
Default Trying to become a teacher with a criminal record.

I am planning on going back to school to get my teaching degree (MAT). I was arrested 10 years for theft (misdemeanor) shoplifting. I plead guilty and it was eventually expunged from my record. I know this falls under "moral turpitude" which in Georgia is not good. I understand I have to disclose this information. I am just wondering if this will hurt my chances to become a teacher.

I have read that when you apply, you need to write a page or two explaining exactly what happened. That this would be the deciding factor.

Does anyone know anything about this? I haven't had been arrested since. Also, if do you think this would hurt my chances to be accepted into a MAT graduate program?

Thanks,
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:54 PM
Status: "Desperately searching for the grading fairy...." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,913 posts, read 16,200,006 times
Reputation: 11478
Quote:
Originally Posted by billie121 View Post
I am planning on going back to school to get my teaching degree (MAT). I was arrested 10 years for theft (misdemeanor) shoplifting. I plead guilty and it was eventually expunged from my record. I know this falls under "moral turpitude" which in Georgia is not good. I understand I have to disclose this information. I am just wondering if this will hurt my chances to become a teacher.

I have read that when you apply, you need to write a page or two explaining exactly what happened. That this would be the deciding factor.

Does anyone know anything about this? I haven't had been arrested since. Also, if do you think this would hurt my chances to be accepted into a MAT graduate program?

Thanks,
Contact the university you want to attend. I wouldn't think theft 10 years ago would be a problem. You do have to be bondable but its' really the children's safety they're worried about.

If you do have to write that paper (and I believe you do), be honest and repentive. Don't try to explain away what you did. Show remorse and explain why it's not going to happen again.

Good luck.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:06 PM
 
6,151 posts, read 5,433,545 times
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I don't have anything to add but just wanted to add my wishes for good luck.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:07 PM
 
3,903 posts, read 5,455,620 times
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No matter where you teach, the district will fingerprint you. (I taught 30 years). You will show up if you were ever fingerprinted, from something like military, to any license/ permit that needs it, and - of course - your arrrest.

Consult a lawyer. A university will take your money - a lawyer will tell you if you can use the degree. So can the NEA or the AFT (teachers' national unions)
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:08 PM
 
10,481 posts, read 14,334,269 times
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Yeah, at first glance this thread looked a little sickening. Now, knowing what the crime is, it should not be a problem at all since it was a petty theft and also was expunged. I think you will be ok.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:15 PM
 
1,977 posts, read 3,020,023 times
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I think you will be fine but what I would do is get a copy of your record and see if it is on there (still mention it on an application)

If it is on there, go to the local school district and ask to speak to the HR Director and discuss with him/her.

Again, I think you will be fine but you really want to know for sure.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: in a house
3,559 posts, read 9,265,518 times
Reputation: 2167
Quote:
Originally Posted by billie121 View Post
I am planning on going back to school to get my teaching degree (MAT). I was arrested 10 years for theft (misdemeanor) shoplifting. I plead guilty and it was eventually expunged from my record. I know this falls under "moral turpitude" which in Georgia is not good. I understand I have to disclose this information. I am just wondering if this will hurt my chances to become a teacher.

I have read that when you apply, you need to write a page or two explaining exactly what happened. That this would be the deciding factor.

Does anyone know anything about this? I haven't had been arrested since. Also, if do you think this would hurt my chances to be accepted into a MAT graduate program?

Thanks,
My son had a serious driving infraction to which he pleaded "guilty" and also was left with a misdemeanor on his record (not DUI/DWI !!). Flash forward to applying for a position at an institution of higher learning, where he had to disclose. He ended up getting the charge/plea expunged and was told that he would not have to "declare" again as the expungement removed the infraction.
I would also do a criminal record check as suggested and I would check with the attorney who did the expungement. Your MAT/GRE score and undergrad GPA determines whether you can enroll in graduate school - the record, if still there, determines whether or not you can be hired. My son is currently employed at that institution of higher learning. Costly lesson for a minute of stupidity! Good luck to you!
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,980 posts, read 2,478,799 times
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Here is the rule in my state (Florida): Expunged or not, all prospective teachers must disclose ALL arrests, regardless of the outcome. This happens at the district level when being hired and also at the state level when applying for certification. A 10 year old misdemeanor will probably not keep you from being hired or certified, but you will probably have to jump through a few hoops (such as writing that explanation paper). Also, you can check with prospective school districts directly about their hiring policy (and it's free). Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Middle America
17,371 posts, read 14,510,155 times
Reputation: 20210
It will not likely hurt you. I work in education and know educators with decade-old misdemeanor POT charges on their records.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:19 PM
 
2 posts, read 97,682 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks for all the responses. Hopefully, it will work out for me.
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