Absolute Bars to Teaching Licensing

A Criminal Record Does Not Eliminate Licensure as a Teacher in Ohio, Depending on The Crime Involved

A criminal record does not completely eliminate the ability to serve as a licensed teacher in the State of Ohio. The Ohio Board of Education will consider the application for licensure from an individual with a criminal record for certain crimes. However, some crimes, called “Absolute Bars” preclude the board consideration and licensure entirely.

Absolute Bars to Teaching:

In 2005, the State Board of Education adopted a rule regarding licensure and employment of individuals with certain criminal convictions (Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-20-01, also see Ohio Revised Code 3319.39). The rule provides a definitive list of offenses that are an “absolute bar” for initial licensure and initial employment. If an individual has been convicted of or pled guilty to any of the offenses identified in the rule as an absolute bar offense, he/she cannot obtain an initial teaching credential and cannot be employed by a school district. This list generally contains major offenses, for example: murder, arson, rape, sex crimes with a minor, kidnapping, extortion and domestic violence. Convictions of these major offenses listed in OAC 3301-20-01 will always keep a person from teaching and there is no remediation process.

Other Criminal Records That Do Not Affect Being a Teacher, And Rehabilitation From Crime Can Make a Person Eligible To Be a Teacher:

There are many criminal offenses and serious traffic offenses that will not affect a person obtaining a teaching degree, a teaching license, or a career in teaching. For certain other offenses listed under OAC 3301-20-01, the rule provides rehabilitation criteria which an individual can meet to become eligible for initial licensure and initial employment. For these offenses, the State Board may choose to license and an employer, or school district, may choose to employ an individual, if the individual meets the rehabilitation criteria set forth in the rule. It should be noted that just because some offenses cannot be expunged, they may be eligible for the rehabilitation process that would make a person eligible to become a teacher. Further, just because an offense may be an absolute bar to teaching, or require rehabilitation to teach, the offense may be eligible for an expungement and sealing of the criminal record. The rules for teaching with a conviction and the rules for expungement are different.

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Our law firm has been in business and located in central Ohio since 1988.  Our law firm emphasizes expungement and sealing of criminal records in Ohio. We have represented students, teachers, and education professionals seal old criminal records.  As trial attorneys and former prosecutors, we have the knowledge and experience to have your criminal record sealed.  We handle cases in all 88 counties of Ohio.

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