The Lento Law Firm Can Help if Your Virginia Teaching License is Threatened

As a teacher in Virginia, it can be concerning to hear you are facing disciplinary action. Being a teacher can be a thankless job. You often face low salaries and limited resources from your school and may even be providing supplies for your classroom out of your own pocket to ensure your students have everything they need to succeed in their school year. When you have given so much to your students, it could be a shock to hear disciplinary actions are being brought against your teaching license. Even though keeping calm in stressful situations is a big part of your job as a teacher, disciplinary actions are enough to cause any person extreme stress. You may feel scared, overwhelmed, and uncertain about the proceedings against you and how to defend yourself.

Disciplinary actions against teachers are particularly serious because of your upstanding role in the community. The community trusts you with its most vulnerable members, children, trusting you to care for them, educate them, and keep them safe. When teachers face allegations, often, people are ready to defend children at all costs, even if this means glossing over your side of the story and trying to take your teaching license away.

You cannot afford to go into this battle alone or with an unqualified attorney when your teaching license is on the line. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team are skilled at defending Virginia teachers during disciplinary proceedings. Our team appreciates all the education you have worked hard to obtain and your tireless commitment to the children you teach. You deserve and need experienced counsel in your corner.

Virginia Department of Education License Proceedings

The Virginia Department of Education oversees all things related to obtaining, maintaining, and revoking teaching licenses. There are three bodies within the Virginia Department of Education that you should be familiar with if you are facing a threat to your licensure: the Office of Licensure and School Leadership and the Virginia Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Virginia Department of Education maintains a public database containing the licensing information for all actively licensed educators in the Commonwealth. Separate from the licensing database, the Virginia Department of Education maintains a publicly accessible list of educator's licenses and endorsements denied, revoked, suspended, canceled, or reinstated by the Board of Education since 2000.

While the Virginia Department of Education has the final say over any proceedings against you, local authorities, such as your school superintendent and school district, will play a significant role in the disciplinary proceedings process. This will be discussed in more detail in the sections below.

Virginia Department of Education Laws and Regulations

There are a variety of laws and regulations that govern the disciplinary process against you. These are mainly found within the Virginia Code Chapter 15, Article 3. Grievances, Dismissal, Etc., of Teachers and the Virginia Administrative Code Chapter 23, Part VII. Revocation, Cancellation, Suspension, Denial, and Reinstatement of Licenses.

The Disciplinary Process

When disciplinary action is being taken against your teaching license, the process will generally follow this trajectory:


Anyone can file a complaint against you; this could be a parent or even a fellow teacher or school employee. Certain school personnel, such as the superintendent, principal, or other responsible school employees, must file a complaint against you if they know you have taken an action that is the basis for revoking a teaching license in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These actions will be discussed in the sections below. Complaints must be made in writing and submitted to the appropriate division superintendent.

Division Superintendent Investigations

Once a division superintendent receives the complaint against you, they are obligated to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation. If the superintendent determines through their investigation that the claim has no merit, they will notify the complaining parties in writing and close the matter. When the superintendent closes the matter, the action is final unless the local school board, on its own volition, votes to proceed to a hearing on the complaint. If the superintendent finds reasonable cause to believe you have engaged in conduct that qualifies you to have your license revoked or suspended, you will be notified of the complaint by a written petition for revocation.

Division Superintendent Petition for Revocation

The petition for revocation must be sent to you by certified mail, return receipt requested to your last known address. The school board must then schedule a hearing within 90 days of mailing you a copy of the petition (unless you, the license holder, request your license be canceled). At this time, the petition will be sent to the local school board where you are or were last employed. The petition for revocation will include the following:

  • Your name and last known address
  • The type of license you hold and your license number
  • The basis for revocation and the specific underlying allegations
  • A statement of rights against you
  • Any additional pertinent information

Once you receive the petition for revocation, you have 14 days from delivery of attempted delivery to respond to the allegation; responses must be in writing. Your answer must include either an admission or denial of the allegations.

It might be tempting to ignore the petition in hopes that these allegations will resolve on their own, but this is not the case. You will face serious, potentially irreversible consequences if you do not respond or do not respond within the appropriate timeframe. You should not respond without the advice of your professional license defense attorney; the Lento Law Firm will assist you in responding in a manner that maximizes your chances of a positive outcome.

School Board Hearing

You will be given at least 14 days' notice of your hearing. At the hearing, the local school board will receive the recommendation of the division superintendent on what consequences you should face as a result of the complaint against you. What information and what format you can present your side of the story at this hearing may vary based on your local school board. Our Professional License Defense Team can help you navigate how best to present your side of the story at your hearing.

School Board Determinations

The hearing may result in your school board denying the petition for revocation. This is a final action, and the case against you would be closed with you retaining your license in an active status. If your school board recommends the revocation or suspension of your license, your file will be sent on to the Virginia Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Revocation on Motion of the Virginia Board of Education

The Virginia Board of Education has the authority to directly revoke a license when it believes you have committed any of the acts described in the section below. Alternatively, it may allow further investigation, in which case the Superintendent of Public Instruction will compile an investigative panel to decide your case. The Superintendent of Public Instruction will first send you a petition of revocation. This will include the same process discussed above – you will have 14 days from delivery or attempted delivery of the petition to respond in writing denying the allegation, and a hearing date will be set and held. No revocation of your license can occur without you being given the opportunity to present your evidence and side of the story at the hearing.

Final Determinations

The Virginia Board of Education has the final say in your case. They will review the recommendation from the Superintendent of Public Instruction and make a decision at the end of your hearing. The Board of Education will either close your case with no further action, suspend your license, or revoke your license.

Any adverse action taken against you will be reported throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, through a national clearing house, and to chief state school officers of other states and territories of the US.


Suspended and revoked licenses can be reinstated by the Virginia Board of Education after five years if it is satisfied that the reinstatement is in the best interest of the public schools of Virginia. You should take the opportunity to get your license reinstated with the utmost seriousness, meaning you should seek advice from the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team to ensure your case for reinstatement is watertight.

Allegations That Put a Virginia Teachers License at Risk

The following are grounds for revocation of your teaching license:

  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraudulent means or through misrepresentation of material facts
  • Falsification of school records, documents, statistics, or reports
  • Conviction of any felony
  • Conviction of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • Conviction of any misdemeanor involving a student or minor
  • Conviction of any misdemeanor involving drugs (not alcohol)
  • Conduct with a direct and detrimental effect on the health, welfare, discipline, or morale of a student or minor
  • Misapplication of or failure to account for school funds or other school properties for which the license has been entrusted
  • Acts related to securing mandatory tests
  • Knowingly and willfully with the intent to compromise the outcome of an athletic competition, procure, sell, or administer any drugs or steroids
  • Have a revoked, suspended, surrendered, canceled, invalid, or denied teaching license in another jurisdiction
  • Be found to have abused or neglected a child (after all administrative appeals have been exhausted)
  • Notification of dismissal or resignation due to criminal charges
  • Other good and just cause in the best interest of Virginia Public Schools

The following are grounds for suspension of your teaching license:

  • Physical, mental, or emotional incapacity as shown by a competent medical authority
  • Incompetence or neglect of duty
  • Acts related to securing mandatory tests
  • Failure or refusal to comply with school laws and regulations, including willful violation of contractual obligations
  • Knowingly and willfully with the intent to compromise the outcome of an athletic competition, procure, sell, or administer any drugs or steroids
  • Other good and just cause in the best interest of Virginia Public Schools

Why You Need a Teachers License Defense Attorney

Having a teaching license defense attorney from the Lento Law Firm is crucial to making sure you obtain the best possible outcome in defending your license. When you have local and state education agencies with significant resources fighting against you, you cannot and should not defend yourself without assistance. You need the guidance of experienced counsel who will fight tirelessly for your license.

How a Teaching License Defense Attorney Can Help You

The Lento Law Firm team can provide much-needed support as you navigate through the disciplinary proceedings process. We help you in a variety of ways, including assisting you in gathering the evidence you need to present your case clearly and effectively at your hearings. There is no step of the disciplinary process you need to face alone or unprepared when we are your counsel.

Areas We Serve

The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team has helped teachers across the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have worked closely in resolving disciplinary allegations in the largest school districts in the Commonwealth, including Fairfax County Public Schools, Prince William County Public Schools, Loudoun County Public Schools, and Virginia Beach Public Schools. We are prepared to help you fight against school districts, large and small.

License Defense Team for Virginia Teachers

Regardless of the allegations against you, the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team is here to help. Our teaching license defense attorneys understand how hard you have worked to be a teacher and how hard you work every day. We will do everything in our power to protect your license, livelihood, and ability to teach in the future. To retain the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team, call 888.535.3685 or contact us online today.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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