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4043 - Professional Boundaries Between Employees and Students

Policy 4043
Professional Boundaries Between Employees and Students

School district employees are responsible for conducting themselves professionally and for teaching and modeling high standards of behavior and civic values, both at and away from school.  Employees are required to establish and maintain professional boundaries with students.  They may be friendly with students, but they are the students’ teachers, not their friends, and they must take care to see that this line does not become blurred.  This applies to employees’ conduct and interactions with students and to material they post on personal web sites and other social networking sites.  The posting or publication of messages or pictures or other images that diminish an employee’s professionalism or ability to maintain the respect of students and parents may impair his or her ability to be an effective employee.

Unless an employee has a legitimate educational purpose, the following behavior is a violation of the professional boundaries that employees are expected to maintain with students. The following list is intended to illustrate inappropriate behavior involving students but not to describe every kind of prohibited behavior.

  • Communicating about sex when the discussion is not required by the curriculum.
  • Joking about matters involving sex, using double entendre or making suggestive remarks.
  • Displaying sexually inappropriate material or objects.
  • Making a sexual advance: written, verbal, physical, or engaging in any activity of a romantic nature.
  • Intruding on a student’s personal space (e.g. touching unnecessarily, moving too close, staring at a portion of the student’s body, or engaging in other behavior that makes the student uncomfortable).
  • Communicating electronically (e.g. by e-mail, text messaging, or instant messaging) on a matter that does not pertain to a school matter.
  • Playing favorites or permitting a student to engage in conduct that is not tolerated from others.
  • Discussing employee personal issues or problems that should normally be discussed with adults.
  • Giving a student a gift of a personal nature.
  • Giving a student a ride in the employee’s vehicle without first obtaining the express permission of the student’s parents or a school administrator.
  • Taking a student on an outing without first obtaining the express permission of the student’s parents or a school administrator.
  • Inviting a student to the employee’s residence without first obtaining the express permission of the student’s parents and a school administrator.
  • Going to a student’s home when the student’s parent or a proper chaperone is not present.

 

A violation of the standards set out above will form the basis for discipline up to and including termination or cancellation of employment, filing a report with law enforcement officials, and filing a report with the Commissioner of Education.

 

Adopted on:                 9/11/2008

Revised on:                 ________

Reviewed on:              3/8/2010

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