Andrea: Substitute teacher placed on a long-term assignment in a classroom with a current litigious case. I feel my presence in the classroom puts me at risk legally. If the parents add my name to their complaint to the Dept of Ed, what protections do I have? I am employed through an educational staffing agency, not through the district. Is this something I would have to hire a lawyer for?
I’m going to use my imagination for this one — as a parent, I’ve always been on the opposite side of this type of situation! How about if you ask your principal, and your supervisor at the agency, for guidance, both in general, and about any specific issues that may come up? Also, I suppose the basic advice for parents would probably be helpful for you too — keep a paper trail, meaning a log of any problems that come up, and emails to your principal and supervisor, as documentation in case of any complaints in the future.
Other than that, just keep the child’s best interests in mind, and do your best to serve him or her to the best of your ability!