Illustration of a diverse group of people dressed in blue
School Staff Dismissal
Crawford v. Commission on Professional Competence of the Jurupa Unified School District Case No. S264534 – California Supreme Court New
Member(s) Involved: Jurupa Unified School District
Current status and/or outcome:
On Nov. 24, 2020, the Supreme Court denied the petition for review, leaving in place the decisions upholding Crawford’s termination from the district for immoral conduct.
Importance of statewide issue:
The petitioner in this case argued for a narrower definition of “immoral conduct” for the purposes of dismissing a certificated employee. A narrower definition of immoral conduct and of “unfitness to teach” would make it more difficult for school districts to appropriately terminate a certificated employee.
Summary of the case:
School counselor Patricia Crawford was terminated from Jurupa USD for immoral conduct and evident unfitness to teach, and her dismissal was upheld by the Commission on Professional Competence (CPC). The underlying misconduct included a series of social media posts that were racist and/or disparaging of students based on national origin/immigration status, after students skipped classes to participate in the “Day Without Immigrants” protest in 2017.. Crawford seeks to limit the meaning of “immoral conduct” by narrowing it to a standard limited to sexual harassment/public sexual activity, drug use/possession, and theft/fraud/securing compensation under false pretenses, despite case law defining the term much more broadly. The trial court, which found that the weight of the evidence supported the findings of the CPC, upheld Crawford’s dismissal, and the Court of Appeal affirmed that decision.

On Oct. 15, 2020, the ELA filed an amicus curiae letter in Opposition to Petition for Review with the California Supreme Court supporting Jurupa Unified School District.