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Ethics in Education Act


Establish Ethical Standards for Instructional Personnel and School ... Sitting alone with a student in a dark room. Writing notes or letters to a student ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ethics in Education Act

Ethics in Education Act
  • Florida Department of Education Office of
    Professional Practices Services

Adams v. State Professional Practices Council
(FL 1st DCA, 1981)
  • By virtue of their leadership capacity,
    teachers are traditionally held to a high moral
    standard in a community.

Whats New
  • Establish Ethical Standards for Instructional
    Personnel and School Administrators
  • Establish duty of Instructional Personnel and
    School Administrators to report misconduct of
    Instructional Personnel or School Administrators
  • Prohibit Confidentially Agreements
  • Require employment history checks
  • Establish Disqualifying Offenses
  • Re-assignment during investigations
  • Reporting of Abuse and Misconduct

Ethical Standards
  • 1001.42 and 1012.796(1)(d).
  • District policies must, at a minimum
  • establish ethical standards for instructional
    personnel and school administrators, and the duty
    to uphold the standards
  • require instructional personnel or school
    administrators to complete training on the
  • establish the duty of instructional personnel and
    school administrators to report alleged
    misconduct of instructional personnel or school
  • establish the detailed procedures for reporting

Reporting Procedures
  • Designate to whom instructional staff and school
    administrators report misconduct
  • Inform staff of penalties for the failure to
  • Explanation of the liability protections pursuant
    to 39.203 or 768.095, Florida Statutes

Confidentiality AgreementsProhibited
  • prohibit confidentiality agreements regarding
    instructional personnel or school administrators
    who are
  • terminated
  • dismissed
  • allowed to resign in lieu of termination
  • based in whole or in part on misconduct that
    affects the health, safety or welfare of a
  • Any part of an agreement or contract that has
    the purpose or effect of concealing misconduct
    which affects the health, safety or welfare of a
    student is void

Employment History Checks
  • Prior to employment of school administrators or
    instructional personnel which require direct
    student contact an employer should
  • Review for certificate action through the
    Disciplinary Action web page
  • Review certificate information and any flags
    through the Bureau of Educator Certification
  • Conduct reference checks from previous employer
  • and
  • Document the findings

Disqualifying Offenses
  • 1012.315, Florida Statutes
  • 45 felony crimes
  • 2 misdemeanor crimes
  • Similar federal or other state offenses
  • Registered Juvenile Sex Offenders
  • -----------------------
  • Conviction
  • Regardless of date of offense or conviction

  • Allegation of misconduct by Instructional
    Personnel or School Administrator
  • Affects the Health, Safety or Welfare of a
  • Superintendent in consult with principal must
  • Immediately suspend, with pay, the Instructional
    Personnel or School Administrator from regularly
    assigned duties to position that does not require
    direct student contact
  • Until completion of the proceedings

Reporting Abuse or Misconduct
  • Post in a prominent place at each school site and
    on each schools web page
  • Policies and Procedures for reporting misconduct
    by Instructional Personnel and School
    Administrators which affects the health, safety
    or welfare of a student
  • The contact person to whom the report is made
  • Penalties imposed for failure to report

Reporting Known or Suspected Abuse and Neglect
  • Public and Private school employees are mandated
    reporters and have a legal obligation to report
    known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the
    Department of Children and Families. Chapter
    39.201 Florida Statutes
  • To make a report call
  • 1-800-96-ABUSE

Reporting Educator Misconduct
  • All employees and agents of Florida public
    schools, charter schools and private schools that
    accept scholarship students have an affirmative
    duty to report educator misconduct.

If you are charged with investigating
misconduct -Ensure student safety -Take
all allegations seriously
  • Act Immediately
  • Take photographs of the scene or event
  • Secure physical evidence
  • Compile a list of potential witnesses
  • Record known information about the event
  • Remain objective
  • Determine if law enforcement or DCF needs to be

  • Assume anything
  • Ignore the complaint
  • Gossip
  • Be defensive
  • Threaten a victim or witness
  • Fail to maintain records
  • Act with prejudice to a personal relationship

Important items
  • Photographs / Videos
  • Letters / Cards / Gifts
  • Seating Charts / Class Rosters
  • Attendance Records
  • Computer evidence / Emails
  • Text Messages
  • Personnel Records

Common Types of Allegations
  • Boundary Violations
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Inappropriate Comments
  • Inappropriate Discipline
  • Misappropriation of School Funds
  • Criminal Charges
  • Alcohol or Drug Abuse
  • Fraudulent Information/ Credentials
  • Standardized Testing Violations
  • Incompetence

Criminal Charges
  • Shall self-report within 48 hours to
    appropriate authoritiesany arrests/charges or
    incidents involving the abuse of a child or the
    sale and/or possession of a controlled
    substanceconviction of finding of guilt,
    withholding of adjudication, commitment to a
    pretrial diversion program

State Board of Education Rule 6B-1.006(5)(m) www.
Sexual Misconduct with StudentsDont think it
doesnt happen
  • Overly friendly or familiar contact with students
  • Colloquial conversations with students
  • Preferential treatment toward a student
  • Phone calls, letters, cards, gifts, emails, text
    or instant messages
  • Sitting in a car alone with a student
  • Meeting a student outside of school
  • Allowing unaccompanied students to visit their
  • Accepting or offering gifts or favors

CautionSlippery Slope
  • Frequently issuing passes to a particular student
  • Taking a student to a restaurant
  • Giving a student a ride home
  • Sitting alone with a student in a dark room
  • Writing notes or letters to a student
  • Meeting students before or after school
  • Communicating to students via cell phone, text
    message or email
  • Giving students cards or gifts
  • Pronounced interest in a students home life
  • Talking about other students
  • Visiting a student at work
  • Taking pictures of or with students
  • Posting photos of students online
  • Hugs and kisses
  • Overly friendly pats or rubs on a student
  • Using pet names
  • Showing favoritism
  • Allowing a student to drive a teachers personal

Potential Negative Actions
  • Criminal Charges
  • Adverse employment action
  • Adverse certificate action

Professional Boundaries
  • Consider how your actions may be perceived by
  • Perceptions are often greater than reality

Contact Information
  • Office of Professional Practices Services
  • 325 West Gaines Street
  • Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
  • Telephone 850.245.0438