William Mitchell Law Review

Publication Information

31 William Mitchell Law Review 303 (2004-2005)


It is important to understand the realities that surround the discharge of a teacher, for embarking upon this path promises to be painful for everyone involved. Teachers who challenge allegations that they are personally or professionally unworthy of continuing to teach in their districts--or perhaps to continue to teach at all--understandably experience extraordinary trauma and anxiety. By the same token, districts that ultimately fail to prove the case for discharge can face significant financial liability and may even be forced to reinstate teachers who have been found to be deficient. Finally, these efforts often divide schools and communities because teachers, students, and parents are called to testify for and against a teacher. This article seeks to shed some light on this challenging subject by examining Minnesota law concerning teacher discharges, as Minnesota's courts and arbitrators have interpreted it. It is hoped that this guide will assist everyone who must deal with the difficult issues that surround the proposed discharge of a teacher for cause.