OCEA wants our members to feel confident their time is valuable. Administrators have requested that educators complete the mandated “Youth Mental Health Awareness and Assistance” training. Our members must understand the training offered on your teacher planning day and weekends is voluntary.OCEA will defend our member’s contractual right not to attend training on their teacher planning day. If you feel pressured to complete the training on your time, contact the site-based association representative or our office immediately.
The state mandates the “Youth Mental Health Awareness and Assistance” training. The legislature mandated this training but failed to provide funding. Florida Statute 1012.584 mandates that “at least 80% of school personnel in elementary, middle, and high schools receive the training by July 1. 2023.” During the week of pre-planning, the district was in the process of having the trainers trained. According to the statute, there must be 2 certified trainers, and the course must be 6.5 hours long and be “face to face”. As of this week, only 29% of employees have completed the training. The School District of Osceola County is currently offering training on January 3rd, our teacher planning day. The district is hinting that the state may require this course for teacher re-certification in the future.
First, the school district CANNOT mandate training on a teacher workday! The training on January 3rd is voluntary. Using another precious teacher planning day is unpopular with our teachers. Furthermore, this is a violation of our contract.
Second, the school district CANNOT force you to attend a workshop held on a Saturday. The training on Saturdays is voluntary. Use your professional judgment to determine the value of your time.
OCEA is here for our members! We respect you as an educator and believe your time is valuable. You should always do what is best for you and your family. Use your professional judgment when choosing to attend voluntary training. And finally, know that OCEA WILL defend your contractual rights!