Updated: Feb 6, 2020
NEPN/NSBA Code: GBEB
STAFF CONDUCT WITH STUDENTS
The M.S.A.D. #60 Board of Directors expects all staff members, including teachers, coaches, counselors, administrators and others, to maintain the highest professional, moral and ethical standards in their conduct with students. For the purposes of this policy, staff members also include school volunteers.
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 an educational setting; and consistent with the educational mission of the schools.
The district recognizes that MSAD #60 staff may have appropriate and healthy personal relationships with students and other staff that exist outside of and that are separate from relationships that develop at work. Staff are expected to maintain clear and discrete boundaries between work-related and personal relationships. The following guidelines are expected to be followed by all staff in order to ensure that all work-related relationships are appropriate and professional.
Examples of unacceptable conduct by staff members that are expressly prohibited include but are not limited to the following:
* Any type of sexual or inappropriate physical contact with students or any other conduct that might be considered harassment under the board's policy on Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students;
* For non-guidance/counseling staff, encouraging students to confide their personal or family problems and/or relationships. If a student initiates such discussions, staff members are expected to be supportive but to refer the student to appropriate guidance/counseling staff. In either case, staff involvement should be limited to a direct connection to the student's school performance.
* Sexual banter, allusions, jokes or innuendos with students;
* Asking a student to keep a secret;
* Disclosing personal, sexual, family, employment concerns, or other private matters to one or more students;
* Addressing students with terms of endearment, pet names or otherwise in an overly familiar manner; and
* Permitting students to address you by your first name, nickname or otherwise in an overly familiar manner during school hours.
Before engaging in the following activities, staff members are expected to be sensitive to the appearance of impropriety in their conduct with students and use discretion when:
* Being alone with individual students out of public view;
* Inviting or allowing students to visit the staff member's home;
* Visiting a student's home, unless on official school business;
* Maintaining personal contact with a student outside of school by telephone, computer (such as e-mail, Instant Messenger social networking sites like Facebook and My Space), or letters (beyond homework or other legitimate school business);
* Exchanging personal gifts (beyond the customary student-teacher gifts); and/or
* Socializing or spending time with students (including but not limited to activities such as going out for meals or movies, shopping, traveling, and recreational activities) outside of school-sponsored events except as participants in organized community activities.
Staff members are expected to be sensitive to the appearance of impropriety in their conduct with students. Staff members are encouraged to discuss issues with their building administrator or supervisor whenever they are unsure whether particular conduct may constitute a violation of this policy.
Students and/or their parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to notify the principal (or other appropriate administrator) if they believe a teacher or other staff member may be engaging in conduct that violates this policy.
Staff members are required to notify promptly the appropriate building administrator or superintendent if they become aware of a situation that may constitute a violation of this policy.
Staff violations of this policy shall result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Violations involving sexual or other abuse will also result in referral to the Department of Health and Human Services and/or law enforcement in accordance with board's policy.
Policy to the Included in Handbooks
This policy shall be included in all employee, student and volunteer handbooks.
Cross Reference: ACAA - Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students
JLF-Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
Adopted: April 10, 2008
Revised: October 19, 2017