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School administrator seeks whistleblower protection

As an employee of any organization, you have the right to speak up if you think that something is wrong. While some have the nerve to do so, others shy away because they believe they will be retaliated against.

Another administrator within the Leon County Schools is requesting whistleblower protection related to allegations of the misuse of funds. The principal of Lively Technical Center handed over a letter to the district superintendent in which he reported what he feels is the misuse of tax dollars. In the letter he said, "I reported to you that money that should have been designated for students and other school district related functions has been misspent. I also have reason to believe that the competitive-bidding laws have been violated based on materials that were provided to me."

In April, another administrator within the school wrote to the superintendent asking for whistleblower protection.

Just the same as other states, Florida has whistleblower statutes in place to prevent agencies from retaliating against an employee who comes forward and reports a violation of the law. It can be a challenge for somebody to step up to the plate and speak out against their employer; however, two people have done so in this Florida district over the past two months.

There is a lot that goes into a whistleblower case, including the information being revealed by the person as well as the way he or she is treated following the incident. In this case, the school principal has requested whistleblower protection to ensure that he is not retaliated against in the future.

Those who feel there is unlawful or unethical activity at their work have a duty to report it; however, an experienced employment law attorney can provide advice on how best to proceed.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat, "Woody Hildebrandt becomes latest Leon County Schools whistleblower" Jeff Burlew, Jun. 03, 2014

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