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Resigning from an AZ teaching contract Arizona

On Lawyer & Legal » Employment & Labor Law

4,095 words with 11 Comments; publish: Thu, 05 Oct 2006 15:05:00 GMT; (80078.13, « »)


I, am a teacher in a Phoenix, AZ, elementary school district. I have signed a contract for the current school year, but teaching/working conditions have been, for once, worse than portrayed by the district upon hiring, and secondly, worsening as the school year went on.

In this school, there were staff assaults, weapons related arrests, and student assaults, and the administration is helpless .I have developed stress related health symptoms, and consider resigning. However, recently our state's board of education made it easier to revoke and suspend teaching licences, and in addition, my district has threatened my colleague who wished to resign with $2500 in fines.

my question: how can i get out of this contract unscathed, meaning without losing my licence or being "fined"?

secondly, can a district fine me for breaking a contract, if there is no mention on the contract?

Any input is welcome and appreciated,

an AZ teacher.

All Comments

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    • Carrying cbg's suggestion one further, look at:


      #1; Fri, 06 Oct 2006 14:45:00 GMT
    • Yes, it was an attempt at humor, sorry I should have mentioned that.
      #2; Fri, 06 Oct 2006 16:45:00 GMT
    • Not really, sometimes I forget I'm not in a firehouse. Won't happen again.
      #3; Sat, 07 Oct 2006 07:52:00 GMT
    • can somebody advise me on finding an affordable attorney in my area to review my contract?

      thank you,

      az teacher

      #4; Thu, 05 Oct 2006 16:03:00 GMT
    • thank you everybody,

      i appreciate the advice. Certainly, there are reasons that we teachers are under contract, and that we owe the students in certain repects. I do however, believe that an administration also owes teachers certain save and fair working conditions. I will solicit professional advice in the matter. And no, I am not aware that there is a union, and I am not under a union contract.

      thank you again,

      an az teacher.

      #5; Sun, 08 Oct 2006 17:01:00 GMT
    • Oh, yeah, that'll really help her get another job.
      #6; Thu, 05 Oct 2006 15:23:00 GMT
    • This site prohibits referrals.

      If this is a public school, you probably have a union. Check with them. Working for a school system I can tell you that if you break a contract, there can be rather significant consequences. It is part of having a contract. Your employer can not just fire you for any old reason and you can not just quit for any reason. Whether they can fine you for breaking the contract depends on your CBA, district practice and the contract you signed. There is nothing in the law to prohibit financial penalties for breaking employment contracts.

      While medical conditions can be a reason to break a contract, I can tell you from experience that "job stress" rarely rises to that level. If that was all that was needed, there were be very few teachers. I truly do understand where you are coming from, particularly of late. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't count my blessings my district has not had to face some of the situations that have been plaguing other. There is a reason though that teachers are under contracts and can't just leave. For better or worse, teachers are needed and the kids don't just stop needing an education because of stressful events.

      Does your district offer an EAP or other counseling? If so, I'd look into it. It certainly can help with stress and managing your health as well.

      I probably don't have to tell you to ignore philly's (hopefully) tongue in cheek advice. For one, it isn't a guarantee you will be fired, but it can bring many other undesireable consequences.

      #7; Fri, 06 Oct 2006 01:15:00 GMT
    • Not really an appropriate place for that kind of humor, huh? ;)
      #8; Sat, 07 Oct 2006 06:56:00 GMT
    • No one can advise you on a contract we have not read. You will have to show it to a local attorney. We have no idea what options are available to you under the contract's terms.
      #9; Thu, 05 Oct 2006 15:07:00 GMT
    • While we can't provide referrals, I can offer a couple of suggestions:

      Contact the local bar association in your area

      Contact any law schools in your area about law clinics

      Check with Legal Aid.

      #10; Fri, 06 Oct 2006 08:54:00 GMT
    • Just develop the crappiest attitude in the world and let your students run wild. They will fire you, and then you fulfilled your end of the contract.
      #11; Thu, 05 Oct 2006 15:07:00 GMT