GBEBB Staff Conduct with Students
NEPN/NSBA Code: GBEBB 

STAFF CONDUCT WITH STUDENTS 

The SAD #4 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. Reference: MEA document “Adult Student Boundaries.”

Prohibited Conduct

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; 
  • Singling out a particular student or students for personal attention and friendship beyond the appropriate teacher-student relationship; 
  • For non-guidance/counseling staff, encouraging students to confide their personal or family problems and/or relationships. If a student initiates such discussion, staff members are expected to be supportive but to refer the student to appropriate guidance/counseling staff for assistance. 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, family, employment concerns, sexual, or other private matters to one or more students. 
  • Addressing students with inappropriate or unwelcome nicknames. 
  • Permitting students to address you by your first name, nickname or otherwise in an overly familiar manner. 
  • “Friending” students on social networking sites (outside of any school-approved activity); and 
  • Communicating with students on non-school matters via computer, text message, phone calls, letters, notes, or any other means. 
Before engaging in the following activities, staff members will review the activity with their building principal or supervisor, as appropriate:
  • Being alone with individual students out of public view. 
  • Maintaining personal contact with a student outside of school by telephone, e-mail, or other electronic communications, or letters (beyond homework or other legitimate school business); 
  • Exchanging personal gifts (beyond customary student-teacher gifts); 
  • Inviting or allowing students to visit the staff member’s home (unless the student’s parents approved of the activity, such as when a student babysits or performs chores for a staff member); 
  • 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 or 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. All staff will be furnished with guidelines upon hire.

Reporting Violations

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.

Disciplinary Action

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 Human Services and/or law enforcement in accordance with the board’s policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.

Policy to be Included in Handbooks

This policy shall be included in all employee handbooks.

Cross Reference:
       ACAA – Harassment and Sexual Harassment of Students
JLF – Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect 

Adopted: March 14, 2006
Revised: January 12, 2010

M.S.A.D. #4