Vista Norte

Employees & Student Interaction Policy

The Organization recognizes its responsibility to make and enforce all rules and regulations governing student and employee behavior to bring about the safest and most learning-conducive environment possible.

 

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against any student. Corporal punishment includes the willful infliction of, or willfully causing the infliction of, physical pain on a student.

For purposes of this policy, corporal punishment does not include an employee’s use of force that is reasonable and necessary to protect the employee, students, employees or other persons or to prevent damage to property.

For clarification purposes, the following examples are offered for direction and guidance of Organization personnel:

 

A. Examples of PERMITTED actions (NOT corporal punishment)

    1. Stopping a student from fighting with another student;
    2. Preventing a pupil from committing an act of vandalism;
    3. Defending yourself from physical injury or assault by a student;
    4. Forcing a pupil to give up a weapon or dangerous object;
    5. Requiring an athletic team to participate in strenuous physical training activities designed to strengthen or condition team members or improve their coordination, agility, or physical skills;
    6. Engaging in group calisthenics, team drills, or other physical education or voluntary recreational activities.

 

B. Examples of PROHIBITED actions (corporal punishment)

    1. Hitting, shoving, pushing, or physically restraining a student as a means of control;
    2. Making unruly students do push-ups, run laps, or perform other physical acts that cause pain or discomfort as a form of punishment;
    3. Paddling, swatting slapping, grabbing, pinching, kicking, or otherwise causing physical pain.

 

 

Acceptable and Unacceptable Employees & Student Behavior

This policy is intended to guide all Organization faculty and employees in conducting themselves in a way that reflects the high standards of behavior and professionalism required of Organization employees and to specify the boundaries between students and employees.

 

Although this policy gives specific, clear direction, it is each employees member’s obligation to avoid situations that could prompt suspicion by parents, students, colleagues, or Organization leaders. One viable standard that can be quickly applied, when you are unsure if certain conduct is acceptable, is to ask yourself, “Would I be engaged in this conduct if my family or colleagues were standing next to me?”

 

For the purposes of this policy, the term “boundaries” is defined as acceptable professional behavior by employee members while interacting with a student. Trespassing the boundaries of a student/teacher relationship is deemed an abuse of power and a betrayal of public trust.

 

Some activities may seem innocent from an employee’s perspective but can be perceived as flirtation or sexual insinuation from a student or parent point of view. The objective of the following lists of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors is not to restrain innocent, positive relationships between employees and students, but to prevent relationships that could lead to, or may be perceived as, sexual misconduct.

 

Employees must understand their own responsibility for ensuring that they do not cross the boundaries as written in this policy. Disagreeing with the wording or intent of the established boundaries will be considered irrelevant for disciplinary purposes. Thus, it is crucial that all employees learn this policy thoroughly and apply the lists of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors to their daily activities. Although sincere, competent interaction with students certainly fosters learning, student & employee’s interactions must have boundaries surrounding potential activities, locations and intentions.

 

 

Duty to Report Suspected Misconduct

When any employee reasonably suspects or believes that another employees member may have crossed the boundaries specified in this policy, he or she must immediately report the matter to an Organization administrator. All reports shall be as confidential as possible under the circumstances. It is the duty of the administrator to investigate and thoroughly report the situation. Employees must also report to the administration any awareness or concern of student behavior that crosses boundaries or where a student appears to be at risk for sexual abuse.

 

The following examples of specific behaviors are not an exhaustive list.

 

Unacceptable Employee & Student Behaviors (Violations of this Policy):

    • Giving gifts to an individual student that are of a personal and intimate nature.
    • Kissing of any kind
    • Any type of unwelcomed and unnecessary physical contact with a student in a private situation.
    • Making or participating in sexually inappropriate comments, listening to or telling stories that are sexually oriented, or participating in sexual jokes, stories of a sexual nature, or inappropriate sexual comments.
    • Discussing inappropriate personal troubles or intimate issues with a student in an attempt to gain their support and understanding.
    • Seeking emotional involvement with a student for your benefit.
    • Becoming involved with a student so that a reasonable person may suspect inappropriate behavior.
    • Intentionally being alone with a student away from the Organization or in a room with a student with the door and blinds of an interior window closed.
    • Inappropriate remarks about the physical attributes or development of anyone.
    • Allowing students in your home.
    • Communication with students through use of technology or social media, where the content of such communication is not about Organization or Organization activities.
    • Excessive attention toward a particular student.

 

(These behaviors should only be exercised when an employee has parent and supervisor permission.)

(a) Giving students a ride to/from the Organization or Organization activities.

(b) Being alone in a room with a student at Organization with the door closed.

(c) Allowing students in your home.

 

Cautionary Employees/Student Behaviors

(These behaviors should only be exercised when a reasonable and prudent person, acting as an educator, is prevented from using a better practice or behavior. Employees members should inform their supervisor of the circumstance and occurrence prior to or immediately after the occurrence)

(a) Remarks about the physical attributes or development of anyone.

(b) Excessive attention toward a particular student.

(c) Sending emails, text messages or letters to students if the content is not about Organization activities.

 

Acceptable and Recommended Employees/Student Behaviors

    • Getting Organization and parental written consent for any after-hours Organization activity.
    • Obtaining formal approval to take students off Organization property for Organization-related activities.
    • Keeping all communication with students through the use of technology and social media professional and related to Organization activities or classes and conducted on Organization technology systems.
    • Keeping the door and/or blinds of an interior window open when alone with a student.
    • Keeping reasonable physical distance from students.
    • Stopping and correcting students if they cross your own personal boundaries.
    • Keeping after-class discussions with a student professional and brief.
    • Asking for advice from fellow employees or administrators if you find yourself in a difficult situation related to boundaries.
    • Involving the Organization’s principal or your supervisor if an inappropriate situation, including conflict, arises with a student.
    • Informing your principal or supervisor about situations that have the potential to become more severe.
    • Making detailed notes about an incident that could evolve into a more serious situation later.
    • Recognizing and acting in accordance with the responsibility to stop unacceptable behavior of students or coworkers.
    • Asking another employee to be present when you must be alone with a student.
    • Asking another employees member to be present when you must be alone with a student after regular Organization hours.
    • Giving students praise and recognition without touching them.
    • Pats on the back, high fives, and handshakes are acceptable.
    • Keeping your professional conduct, a high priority.
    • Emails, text, phone and instant messages to students must be very professional and pertaining to Organization activities or classes (Communication should be limited to Organization technology).
    • Keeping parents informed when a significant issue develops about a student.
    • Making detailed notes about an incident that could evolve into a more serious situation later.
    • Asking yourself if your actions are worth your job and career.

 

This statement of prohibited conduct does not alter the Organization’s policy of at-will employment. Either you or the Organization remains free to terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without reason or advance notice.

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