“I never thought I would need PEN’s legal services. I had been teaching for 34 years and been nominated several times as Teacher of the Year. But in my 34th year of my teaching career, one of my ESE student’s parents requested that I let her son take a test as many times as it took for him to pass the test. When I explained to her that I could not do that, she began calling the school and sending emails to DOE telling them things that were not true about what I was doing to her son. I called PEN and within a few hours, I was speaking with an attorney and he listened to my situation and advised me on how to proceed. He stayed in contact with me until the issue was resolved. I am so thankful I filled out that PEN brochure that was in my school mailbox.” – Polk County Educator
“I believed one of my students was being abused by a guardian. I called the PEN representative and she told me that I was obligated to report this to the district. I was interviewed by the district, the DCF and the sheriff’s department. The PEN attorney advised me of the laws, helped me prepare my statement and advised me on the process. It all turned out fine in the end, but it would have been a really scary time if I had not had an attorney advising me.” – Palm Beach County Educator
“Due to an injury, my doctor prescribed that I would need to adjust several of my job-related activities. PEN helped me with getting the district to make accommodations so I could keep on working. It was a relief to have PEN speak out for me and make sure that my rights were not violated.” – Miami-Dade Educator
PEN is a premier membership organization for Florida educators. PEN is a place to network with like-minded professionals. PEN has a members’ only Facebook group where you can ask questions, collaborate and contribute. PEN promotes teachers NOT agendas. PEN doesn’t fund divisive agendas, but we do advocate for the Florida teacher. We want to help make Florida a better place for teachers to teach and students to learn. We are a network for the professional teacher to be inspired, grow and connect with other educators
PEN will protect your rights as an educator regarding:
Contract Enforcement | Certification Problems/Questions | Reduction in Force/Layoff | Suspension Without Pay | Letters of Reprimand | Evaluations | Student Discipline Issues | Parent and Student Complaints | Professional Practices Cases | Transfers | Harassment | Surplus | Health and Safety Issues
Highlights of the insurance policy include:
The PEN Member Legal Services Department team will provide eligible members with quick, confidential assistance with employment-related legal concerns and questions.
Up to $1,000 in attorney fees for initial consultation without regard to outcome.
Professional Liability Protection, Up to $2,000,000 in liability insurance, which protects you from claims and/or lawsuits arising out of activities in your professional capacity
Employment Rights Defense Protection,Up to $10,000 in attorney fees, which will provide an attorney to defend you if your employment rights are violated.
Certification/Credentials Protection which will provide an attorney to defend you when Professional Practices Services is investigating you for an alleged claim
Up to $10,000 in attorney fees To defend you in a claim filed as a result of your private instruction or tutoring.
Criminal Charges Representation Up to $20,000 in attorney fees to defend you in a criminal proceeding against you arising out of activities in your professional capacity, if you are found not guilty or if all charges are dismissed.
Up to $1,000 per bail bond
All of these benefits are included with your PEN membership.
This brief description of the policy is to provide information only and in no way alters or modifies the policy on file with the association.
Our policies cover you for activities performed in your professional capacity, i.e., those duties required of you as an employee of your school or school district. There is NO coverage for activities performed outside your professional capacity like those done on a volunteer basis or those conducted in a private business or private professional endeavor.
Our professional liability insurance coverage protects you from lawsuits filed by parents or students with coverage limits of $2,000,000 per insured and $3,000,000 per occurrence.
In the unlikely event that you are charged with a crime, in relation to your duties as an educator, the PEN Legal Protection Plan provides for the payment of attorney fees, up to $20,000 per member per claim with final judgment of not guilty. In addition, there is coverage under our liability insurance of up to $1,000 for reimbursement of bail bond premium.
Immediate and comprehensive legal consultation is provided to you free of charge. A PEN attorney will review all of the particulars of your situation at no cost to you. If your rights have been violated or the relevant education law has been broken, the policy will pay up to $10,000 in legal fees to resolve the matter with no out of pocket money from you. This is the protection you need most as you interact daily with your students. PEN stands with you as you go about your required duties each day in an increasingly litigious world.
Our members tell us they appreciate the attorney-client confidentially privilege and don’t have to have a colleague represent them or know all the details of their employment issue. We believe that this is the best way to resolve sensitive legal matters involving our members.
What about the State Liability Coverage? Isn’t that enough?
Liability Insurance is Not Enough to Protect Teachers in the Classroom—Employment Rights and Career Security are Not Included in This Bare-bones Liability Insurance
Liability insurance only goes so far. Membership with The Professional Educators Network of Florida already provides teachers with liability insurance, along with other important benefits such as employee rights protection and other coverages that are not included in the bare-bones liability insurance provided by the State. We are concerned that some educators, not understanding the difference between simple liability insurance and the comprehensive coverage included in PEN of Florida membership may be left without vital representation when they encounter some of the most common problems educators face in the course of their careers.
Professional Educators Network of Florida protects its members with both superior liability and employment defense. We provide experienced attorneys and membership representatives who are experts in school law. Bob Boyd directs PEN of Florida’s legal benefits program and has been practicing school law for 28 years. This is something that free statewide liability insurance simply will not give you. Please read more about the additional protections provided in addition to liability insurance on our website at http://www.penfl.org/legal-benefits
You may also call the PEN office at 800-311-7770 or email email@example.com with any questions
Please note legal coverage conditions
Coverage applies to an insured’s activities within his/her professional capacity and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period. Eligibility for PEN of FL membership benefits is contingent upon PEN of FL’s receipt of appropriate payment or authorization forms as indicated by your choice of payment method for your appropriate membership category. A disruption in payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuation of such benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage.
You must be a PEN member prior to the incident.
Evaluations are a year-long process. For assistance with evaluation appeals or reviews, you must have been a PEN member prior to your first observation or by October 31 of the current school year; whichever comes first.
PEN must be the only legal representation you have obtained. PEN will not represent you legally if another organization has provided or is providing representation or consultation to you for the same incident or issue. Please contact PEN at the onset of the employment difficulty.
PEN believes that teachers are professionals and deserve to be treated as such. PEN is not a labor union. We are a professional organization for the professional educator. PEN members are the best of the best. PEN promises to treat our members with the respect they deserve and advocate for that same respect around the state of Florida making a Florida a better place for teachers to teach and students to learn.
PEN supports Florida teachers with a variety of resources.
PEN provides members with free online professional development. We have hundreds of courses to choose from, so you can earn the credits you need to keep your certification current.
Member’s Only Benefits
Pen of Florida has endorsed “Members Only” benefits provided by Association Member Benefits (AMBA). For additional information on these benefits, contact AMBA at 800.258.7041 or visit www.myambabenefits.info/association/pen
Weekly Education News Updates
PEN of Florida provides members with a weekly education news update, so you can stay up-to-date on the latest in education current events.
There is no need to search the internet for online resources for your classroom, you can find all of the great education resources right here on PEN’s website. Whether you are looking for assessment tools, grade-specific apps or educational games, you will discover them under ‘Educator Links’ on our website.
Each month, PEN will offer members free downloadable content for use in your classroom.