NORTHEAST OHIO -- When a teacher is busted for sexual misconduct, it makes headlines in northeast Ohio. But cases of sexual wrongdoing among teachers doesn't even make the top five reasons for why teachers are disciplined.
The Investigator Tom Meyer did a computer analysis of teacher disciplinary records which are public and maintained by the state department of education.
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Since 2008, Channel 3 News found that 580 Northeast Ohio educators have been reprimanded, suspended or fired for violating school rules, the law or both.
We found that at least 149 educators landed in hot water for 'inappropriate behavior.' That's the most educators in any one category of discipline.
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The bad behavior includes unprofessional texting with students and cursing at students.
DEFINITIONS: Types of disciplinary actions
Misdemeanor convictions, not related to theft, disorderly conduct, or sexual misconduct, led to sanctions for 54 educators. It was second on our list of the top five. At number three -- disorderly conduct.
At least 49 teachers were disciplined, including a teacher in the Orange school district, who got fed up with a student talking in the library so she reportedly taped his face. An Akron city teacher had his teacher's license revoked for waving a hatchet at a man and threatening to shoot him.
A Cleveland teacher was suspended for smashing a car window as he tried to stop three students from driving away.
"I think parents want to know that information and they should have access to that information especially when our tax dollars are funding the schools," said Mark Kuhar, who led demonstrations against overspending last year in the Medina City School district..
SPECIAL REPORT: Teachers in Trouble
Coming at number 4---teachers busted for theft. At least 42 teachers were caught stealing. Drug abusing educators round out our top five. At least 31 educators were disciplined for providing alcohol to kids, smoking pot with them, driving drunk, and for using other drugs including cocaine.
"I'm wondering how many parents actually know what their school district's performance record is," Kuhar said.
The state database was launched in November, 2007. Parents are encouraged to ask their districts follow-up questions regarding any sanctions.
At first, teachers had concerns over the accuracy of the information. But those concerns have faded.
INTERACTIVE: Discipline action breakdown
Teachers acknowledge they're in a profession that requires public scrutiny and criminal background checks. They understand it's all done in the interest of school safety.
"It's important that we all know who we're putting in front of kids," said David Quolke, president of the Cleveland Teachers Union.
As Quolke points out, it's only a small percentage of teachers who have been disciplined. Records that Channel 3 News examined show only 1.5% of educators in Northeast Ohio have demonstrated conduct unbecoming the profession and have been punished with everything from written reprimands to license revocations.