As far as public school law in the state of Maryland is concerned there are 5 offences for which an education employee can be terminated. They are:
1. Insubordination- failure to comply with a directive of a supervisor. 2. Misconduct in Office- seriously violating the ethics of the profession, state or federal education law or school system policy while performing the official duties of the profession. 3. Incompetence- Prolonged and demonstrable unsatisfactory job performance generally through an established evaluation practice. 4. Immorality- Commission of acts, in office or in private life, that would be considered to be reasonably immoral. 5. Failure to report abuse or neglect.
Numbers 1, 2 and 5 are the easiest to prove and most commonly charged.
With respect to Insubordination, my general advice when given a directive that might be counter to the Negotiated Agreement (contract), is to follow the directive and grieve after the fact. You do not, however, have to follow a directive that could be illegal or immoral.
Misconduct in Office can apply to many issues, but most often involves not following an established school system policy or practice. School system employees are expected to be aware of policies- especially those that you sign off that you are aware of- think sexual harassment or acceptable use policies.
Your obligation to report abuse or neglect is also one that you sign that you're aware of and not reporting is one of the quickest ways to lose your job. There is no harm that can come to you by reporting- even if you're wrong. Furthermore, your responsibility to report does not end with the guidance counselor. You must also report to Child Protective Services. Administrators and counselors can put you in touch with CPS, but you can also report directly to them. You can reach CPS by following the link below: