KC Teachers Union E-Mail: "Know your rights".
The head of the Kansas City teachers union,
Andrea Flinders, says some of her members and other school employees are being “unfairly" accused of abusing children in Kansas City’s classrooms.
"In some cases, teachers and other school employees are being hotlined unfairly," Flinders told KMBC TV.
The website ‘Tony’s Kansas City’ reported Monday that over the weekend, Flinders sent an e-mail out to her 1,060 union members advising them of their contractual rights.
"If you are called into a meeting, you have the right to ask the reason for the meeting. if the meeting is disciplinary, or may lead to discipline, you have the right to be given an opportunity to arrange for representation prior to the start of the meeting," states part of the e-mail reviewing the teachers rights.
Flinders says 34 teachers have been displaced since the school year started. That includes five teachers last week before the holiday weekend.
When a reacher is " displaced", they are removed from their classroom, with pay, until the issue is settled.
Flinders says all of of the cases that have been settled show the charges turn out to be false.
Several cases, said Flinders, are still being investigated.
"With the unprecedented number of hotlines/investigations this year, I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to read," the e-mail she wrote.
Flinders also claims the union is finding out after investigations have started that they are underway.
She says in the past, they were advised by the school district administration that they were starting a probe.
District spokesman Andre Riley, says the school system is following its procedures under the rules.
Flinders is uncertain what is taking place.
"I think it might be a sign of the times," she speculated.
"I think parents are quicker to take the word of their child and call that hotline," she said.
According to the Missouri Division of Family Services (DFS), the state investigated 61,083 abuse charges in 2011, the most in at least six years.
That is a 7% increase from 2010.
The DFS says about 3.4% of the proven cases involve teachers or school employees.
About a third or more of the cases referred to the DFS turn out not to be true.