Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries
The purpose of this policy is to provide all staff, students, volunteers and community members with information to increase their awareness of their role in protecting children from inappropriate conduct by adults.
The board of directors expects all staff members to maintain the highest professional, moral and ethical standards in their interaction with students. Staff members are required to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning, through consistently and fairly applied discipline and established and maintained professional boundaries.
The interactions and relationships between staff members and students should be based upon mutual respect and trust, an understanding of the appropriate boundaries between adults and students in and outside of the educational setting, and consistency with the educational mission of the schools. Staff members will not intrude on a student’s physical and emotional boundaries unless the intrusion is necessary to serve an educational or physical, mental and/or emotional health purpose. An educational purpose is one that relates to the staff member’s duties in the district. Additionally, staff members are expected to be sensitive to the appearance of impropriety in their own conduct and the conduct of other staff when interacting with students. Staff members will discuss issues with their building administrator or supervisor whenever they suspect or are unsure whether conduct is inappropriate or constitutes a violation of this policy.
The board of directors supports the use of technology to communicate for educational purposes. However, district employees are prohibited from inappropriate online socializing or from engaging in any conduct on social networking Web sites that violates the law, district policies or other generally recognized professional standards. Employees whose conduct violates this policy may face discipline and/or termination, consistent with the district’s policies, acceptable use agreement and collective bargaining agreements, as applicable.
The superintendent or designee will develop staff protocols for reporting and investigating allegations and develop procedures and training to accompany this policy.
The purpose of this procedure is to provide all staff, students, volunteers and community members with information to increase their awareness of their role in protecting children from inappropriate conduct by adults.
In a professional staff/student relationship, school employees maintain boundaries that are consistent with the legal and ethical duty of care that school personnel have for students.
A boundary invasion is an act or omission by a school employee that violates professional staff/student boundaries and has the potential to abuse the staff/student relationship.
An inappropriate boundary invasion means an act, omission, or pattern of such behavior by a school employee that does not have an educational purpose and results in abuse of the staff/student professional relationship.
Examples of inappropriate boundary invasions by staff members include but are not limited to the following: ·
APPEARANCES OF IMPROPRIETY
The following activities are boundary invasions and can create an actual impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. Whenever possible, staff should avoid these situations. If unavoidable these activities should be pre-approved by the appropriate administrator. If not pre-approved, the staff person must report the occurrence, to the appropriate administrator, as soon as possible. ·
Students and their parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to notify the principal (or other administrator) if they believe a teacher or other staff member may be engaging in conduct that violates this policy.
Staff members are required to promptly notify the principal (or other administrator) or the superintendent if they become aware of a situation that may constitute a violation of this policy.
Staff violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The violation will also be reported to the state Office of Professional Practices. Violations involving sexual or other abuse will also result in referral to Child Protective Services and/or law enforcement in accordance with the board’s policy on Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Prevention (3421).
DISSEMINATION OF POLICY AND REPORTING PROTOCOLS
This policy and procedure shall be included on the district Web site and in the district staff, student and volunteer handbooks. Annually, all administrators and staff will receive copies of the district’s reporting protocol.