Education Commission Reprimands Steve Knob, Ex-Band Director at Matanzas, Over Porn
FlaglerLive | July 10, 2013
The Florida Education Practices Commission on June 28 issued a formal reprimand to Steve Knob, the former Matanzas High School band director, who resigned abruptly in October 2011 after school officials found pornography downloaded at his school computer.
Knob, 52 at the time, had taught at Matanzas for five years, had maintained a spotless record in a long teaching career, and was highly regarded both for his education and his accomplishments. What indiscretion the district documented at no time involved students in any way.
“This panel, composed of your peers, believes that, as a teacher, you are required to exercise a measure of leadership beyond reproach,” Mark Strauss, the commission’s presiding officer, wrote Knob, a resident of Ryland Drive in Palm Coast. “By your actions, you have lessened the reputation of all who practice our profession. The profession cannot condone your actions, nor can the public who employ us.”
The reprimand is now part of Knob’s state certification file and his personnel file at Flagler County schools, though that file is inactive. The reprimand is the culmination of an administrative process and final order by the commission affecting Knob’s teacher certification. The June 28 order ratifies a settlement between Knob and the state Department of Education, and sets out a series of conditions that would shadow Knob’s public education teaching career in Florida, should he choose to resume it.
According to the settlement, which Knob signed in February, Knob agreed to a letter of reprimand, but “neither admits nor denies, but elects not to contest the allegations” against him.
The administrative complaint filed against him listed two counts of statute violations and one count of a rule violation. Count one had charged that Knob “has been found guilty of personal conduct which seriously reduces his effectiveness of the school board,” a violation of Section 1012.795 of Florida law. County two charged that he “violated the principles of professional conduct for the education profession,” a violation of a different segment of the same law. The rule violation entailed using “institutional privileges for personal gain or advantage.”
The January complaint called for “an appropriate sanction” against Knob’s teaching certificate. That certificate could have been suspended or revoked for five or 10 years, or permanently, and barred Knob from reapplying. The terms of the settlement, however, resulted in far milder penalties. Knob may seek a teaching position again, but within certain parameters, including a two-year probation period.
Knob agreed to be psychologically evaluated and treated accordingly either within 60 days of the final order’s issuance or within 60 days of employment that requires a teaching certificate in any school district or any school, private or charter. Prior evaluation and treatment is admissible. Knob said previously that he had sought and received counseling.
Probation’s two years kick in only should Knob begin a teaching job again. (He is currently working at a music store in Palm Coast.) Monitoring requirements accompany the settlement, along with a $150 charge every six months of the probation term to defray the cost of monitoring, and a $500 fine to be paid within the first year of probation. Violations of the agreement would lead to additional penalties that could include revocation of the certificate.
The settlement notes that Knob is under a “three strikes” provision: two more strikes against him caused by running afoul of the code of conduct would lead to permanent revocation of the certificate.
The settlement documents are below.