Can a criminal conviction prevent you from becoming a teacher?

| Feb 18, 2020 | Firm News |

Teachers have some of the most important jobs in the nation, and if you are looking to become one, you may have an innate desire to help others. Having something potentially jeopardize all of the work you put into your quest to become a teacher may prove particularly stressful, then, so it makes sense that you may have concerns about your future if you are facing a criminal charge.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, only prospective teachers who possess what the department considers to be “good moral character” have a chance at receiving a teaching certificate that allows them to teach within the state. If you are pursuing a teaching certificate, you may need to undergo a good moral character review depending on how you answer certain questions regarding your background.

For example, you are going to have to answer questions about whether an employer has ever investigated you for misconduct. You should also expect to field questions about whether you have ever been the subject of a child abuse investigation, or whether you have ever had a professional license denied or revoked, among others.

If your answers wind up leading to a good moral character review, the Pennsylvania Department of Education is going to then consider a number of additional factors. It may, for example, consider the nature of your conduct, your current attitude about the conduct and whether you took steps to rehabilitate or better yourself in the aftermath. If the department denies your request for a teaching certificate, it is going to notify you in writing, at which point you may be able to move forward with an appeal.