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Kingsburg Elementary Charter |  BP  4319.24  Personnel

Maintaining Appropriate Adult-Student Interactions   

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The Governing Board desires to provide a positive school environment that protects the safety and well-being of district students. The Board expects all adults with whom students may interact at school or in school-related activities, including employees, independent contractors, and volunteers, to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards in their interactions with students both within and outside the educational setting. Such adults shall not engage in unlawful or inappropriate interactions with students and shall avoid boundary-blurring behaviors that undermine trust in the adult-student relationship and lead to the appearance of impropriety.

(cf. 4119.21/4219.21/4319.21 - Professional Standards)

Article I, Section 28(c) of the California Constitution requires that all students are provided a safe and secure learning environment.

Recognizing that all employees are considered educators, the District expects its educators to act in a manner that reflect professional, moral, and ethical practices within established boundaries. Educators are also required to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning, and interactions with students must be consistent with the educational mission of the district and legitimate educational purpose within the scope of their employment duties.

Additionally, this policy endeavors to:

* Protect employees from prohibited or unauthorized student-employee interactions which may result in false allegations

* Maintain the integrity of the teaching profession and of public education

* Maintain public trust and confidence in the safety of our schools

Employees are prohibited from entering into or attempting to form a romantic or sexual relationship with any student or engaging in sexual harassment of a student, including sexual advances, flirtations, requests for sexual favors, inappropriate comments about a student's body or appearance, or other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

(cf. 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment)

Adults shall not intrude on a student's physical or emotional boundaries unless necessary in an emergency or to serve a legitimate purpose related to instruction, counseling, student health, or student or staff safety.

Any employee who observes or has knowledge of another employee's violation of this policy shall report the information to the Superintendent or designee or appropriate agency for investigation pursuant to the applicable complaint procedures. Other adults with knowledge of any violation of this policy are encouraged to report the violation to the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent or designee shall protect anyone who reports a violation from retaliation. Immediate intervention shall be implemented when necessary to protect student safety or the integrity of the investigation.

(cf. 1312.1 - Complaints Concerning District Employees)

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

(cf. 5141.4 - Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting)

Employees who engage in any conduct in violation of this policy, including retaliation against a person who reports the violation or participates in the complaint process, shall be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal. Any other adult who violates this policy may be barred from school grounds and activities in accordance with law. The Superintendent or designee may also notify law enforcement as appropriate.

(cf. 4117.7/4317.7 - Employment Status Reports)

(cf. 4118 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

(cf. 4218 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

The district's employee code of conduct addressing interactions with students shall be provided to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year and shall be posted on school and/or district web sites. (Education Code 44050)

(cf. 1113 - District and School Web Sites)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

Inappropriate Conduct

Note: The following section lists examples of inappropriate conduct and conduct that can create the appearance of impropriety. For additional examples of behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment of students, see BP/AR 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment.

Employees shall remain vigilant of their position of authority and not abuse it when relating with students. Examples of employee conduct that can undermine professional adult-student interactions or create the appearance of impropriety include, but are not limited to:

1. Initiating inappropriate physical contact

2. Being alone with a student outside of the view of others, unless previously authorized

3. Visiting a student's home or inviting a student to visit the employee's home without parent/guardian consent

4. Maintaining personal contact with a student that has no legitimate educational purpose, by phone, letter, electronic communications, or other means, without including the student's parent/guardian or the principal

When communicating electronically with students, employees shall use district equipment or technological resources when available. Employees shall not communicate with students through any medium that is designed to eliminate records of the communications. The Superintendent or designee may monitor employee usage of district technology at any time without advance notice or consent.

(cf. 4040 - Employee Use of Technology)

5. Creating or participating in social networking sites for communication with students, other than those created by the district, without the prior written approval of the principal or designee

6. Inviting or accepting requests from students, or former students who are minors, to connect on personal social networking sites (e.g., "friending" or "following" on social media), unless the site is dedicated to school business

7. Singling out a particular student for personal attention and friendship, including giving gifts and/or nicknames to individual students

8. Addressing a student in an overly familiar manner, such as by using a term of endearment

9. Socializing or spending time with students outside of school-sponsored events, except as participants in community activities unless authorized by the parent/guardian

10. Sending or accompanying students on personal errands unrelated to any legitimate educational purpose

11. Transporting a student in a personal vehicle without prior authorization

12. Encouraging students to confide their personal or family problems and/or relationships with the intent to harm in regards to the grooming process and/or has no educational benefit

13. Disclosing personal, family, or other private matters to students or sharing personal secrets with students

14. Dating, courting, or entering into or attempting to form a romantic or sexual relationship with any student

15. Displaying or transmitting inappropriate photographs, videos, images, depictions or other content to a student

16. Photographing and videoing students without the District's permission or authorization

17. Telling sexual jokes or banter, innuendo, notes, stories, gestures, commenting about students' bodies, or communicating in a personal nature with students

18. Giving personal or intimate gifts to a student

19. Consuming alcohol with, or offering, giving, or otherwise making alcohol available to students

20. Using student bathrooms during contracted hours. Preschool and special education students and teacher use may occur based on students' needs as stated in their IEP or 504 plan.

It is the policy of the District that all employees:

1. Communicate and interact with students through any means in a manner that respects the student's right to a safe and secure environment per the California Constitution.

2. Conduct themselves at all times in a manner that adheres to district governing policies.

3. Maintain appropriate boundaries with students that are consistent with their role, duties, responsibilities, and within accepted norms of behavior for educators.

4. Adhere to district governing policies for being alone with a single student on district premises during the normal school day.

5. Obtain written approval in advance from district administrators and student's parents/guardians to meet with students outside of the district premises and/or normal school hours as required by district governing policies.

6. Recognize their individual responsibilities to take immediate action and/or report to an immediate supervisor when they witness, overhear, recognize, or otherwise become cognizant of prohibited or unauthorized student-employee interactions.

7. Recognize their individual responsibilities as mandated reporters apply to school, home, and other environments where a student may be exposed to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse including neglect.

8. Understand that significant consequences for noncompliance may include disciplinary action up to termination and/or legal action.

Legal Reference

EDUCATION CODE

44030.5 Employment status reports

44050 Employee code of conduct; employee interactions with students

44242.5 Reports and review of alleged misconduct

44940 Sex offenses and narcotic offenses; compulsory leave of absence

48980 Parental notifications

PENAL CODE

11164-11174.3 Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

80303 Reports of change in employment status, alleged misconduct

80304 Notice of sexual misconduct

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION

Article 1, Section 28(c)

Policy KINGSBURG ELEMENTARY CHARTER SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: December 13, 2019 Kingsburg, California