Question: Is a teacher required to follow a directive from the principal or your immediate supervisor?

Advice: Yes, it is important to understand that the principal or your immediate supervisor has rights simply because he/she is "the boss." Any principal/supervisor has the right to exert leadership; to direct institutional operations; to enforce rules, policies and reasonable orders and directions, as long as they conform to the contract and are clear/unambiguous and do not put you in danger of risking your health or safety. [MTA Site Rep Training Handbook].

Obey now, Grieve Later: If you are given a direct order that you do not believe is appropriate (it violates the contract, for example), you may ask your supervisor to clarify that he/she is in fact giving you an order or directive to do X.

Contact your site representative and document the directive utilizing carbon copied emails to all parties. Once this is clear, you may say: "Fine. I will do what you are asking only because you are ordering me to do it. I will follow your directive under protest and against my better judgment and may take further action (grieve) later."

The important point is that you follow the directive now (so that you are not insubordinate), unless it immediately threatens your health or safety (then you may refuse), and challenge it (grieve) later [MTA Site Rep Training].

Whistle-blower Protection

An employee shall have the right to disclose to a Board member, a school administrator, a member of the County Board of Education, County Superintendent of Schools, or the Superintendent of Public Instruction any improper governmental activity by the district or a district employee that violates state or federal law, is economically wasteful, or involves gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency. Note: "Illegal order" means any directive to violate or assist in violating a federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation or an order to work or cause others to work in conditions outside of their line of duty that would unreasonably threaten the health or safety of employees or the public. [Modesto City Schools Board Policies 4119.1/4219.1/4319.1; California Education Codes 44112; 44113].

Sexual Harassment

The Board of Education prohibits sexual harassment of District employees or applicants. Sexual harassment is as defined in the Education Code and applicable nondiscrimination law.* Education Code 212.5 defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, made by someone from or in the work or educational setting, under any of the following conditions [Modesto City Schools Board Policies 4119/4219/4319.13]


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