State of Ohio Department of Education
On Developing a Definition of Good Moral Character
Section 3319.30 of the Ohio Revised Code provides in pertinent part that “no person shall receive any compensation for the performance of duties as teacher...who has not obtained a certificate of qualification for the position...and which certificate shall further certify to the good moral character of the holder thereof....”
Teacher education and certification standards adopted by the State Board of Education that became effective July 1, 1987, provide that individuals must be of “good moral character” to be admitted to a teacher preparation program and to be recommended for initial certification.
Section 3319.31 of the Revised Code provides in pertinent part that the State Board of Education shall revoke the certificate of an individual “if at any time the holder of a certificate is found intemperate, immoral, incompetent, negligent, or guilty of other conduct unbecoming to his position” and whenever any person “pleads guilty to or is convicted of any felony, any violation of Section 2907.04 or 2907.06, or division (A) or (C) of Section 2907.07 of the Revised Code, any offense of violence, theft offense, or drug abuse offense that is not a minor misdemeanor, or any substantively comparable ordinance of a municipal corporation”... (or federal law).
“As used in this section, ‘theft offense’ has the same meaning as in Section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, (and) ‘drug abuse offense’ has the same meaning as in Section 2925.01 of the Revised Code....” An offense of violence is defined in Section 2913.01 of the Revised Code.
Since the State Board of Education shall revoke the certificate of any individual who pleads guilty to or is convicted of the offenses set forth above, it would seem that the absence of pleading guilty to or having been convicted of such an offense that has not been sealed or expunged should be considered to constitute “good moral character” for the purpose of admitting an individual to a teacher preparation program or recommending an individual for certification. Either of these requirements might be met by posing the same type of question as is asked on the application form for a teacher’s certificate.
The “sealing of a record” is provided for by Section 2953.31 et seq of the Revised Code. Section provides for the restoration of rights and privileges of a person whose record has been sealed. It further provides that “a person may be questioned only with respect to convictions not sealed, unless the question bears a direct and substantial relationship to the position for which the person is being considered.”
The “expungement of record after agreed bail forfeiture” is provided by Section 2953.42 of the Revised Code and Section 2953.42 of the Revised Code provides that “a person may not be questioned with respect to any record that has been expunged pursuant to Section 2953.42 of the Revised Code.”
Any individual denied admission to a teacher preparation program or any individual not recommended for certification based on the issue of “good moral character” should be afforded the right to due process (the right to be heard) on such issue.