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Case Studies

Consider the scenarios below. Each fictional scenario is loosely based on actual cases that have been brought to the PSPC in recent years or ones that have appeared in local or national news. In each situation, consider how the teacher could have avoided the misconduct and how the infraction could ultimately affect the teacher's career.

Case 1

Samuel D. is a high school English teacher who works on the weekends and during summers running a booth at a local flea market. At his flea market booth, Mr. D. resells handbags and watches that he has purchased online. After a local investigation into the flea market, several booth owners including Mr. D. are arrested for trafficking in counterfeit goods. Despite his claims of innocence, Mr. D. is found guilty of the offense and required to pay a substantial fine.

Case 2

Mary C. is a middle school band director who organized a New Year's Day trip so that her students could perform in a bowl game in Florida. Because of inclement weather, the trip was cancelled. Ms. C claimed that all of the fees the band had collected for the trip would not be refunded because of the cancellation. When several parents contacted the travel agency, Ms. C's deception was discovered.

Case 3

David F. is a high school math teacher who works part-time as an accountant for a local business. In his accounting activities, Mr. F. falsifies several tax reports to help the local business owners receive refunds. When some of the businesses are audited by the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. F's actions are uncovered and he is criminally charged with falsifying public documents.

Case 4

Sally R. is an elementary teacher who manages a booster organization for the district's soccer teams. When her car breaks down, Ms. R. decides to pay for the repairs out of the booster funds. Because she uses her personal car for booster club business, she feels that paying for the repair bill out of the organization's funds is warranted. When the expenses are discovered by other booster members, Ms. R. is investigated for mismanagement of funds.

While these cases are fictional, real cases that have been adjudicated by the Pennsylvania Standards and Practices Commission can be accessed by visiting the PSPC site.