Staff Conduct with Students
Maine School Administrative District No. 31
STAFF CONDUCT WITH STUDENTS
The M.S.A.D. #31 School Board 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.
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 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 normal 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 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 a 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.
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;
• Inviting or allowing students to visit the staff member’s home;
• Visiting a student’s home, unless on official school business;
• Maintaining a personal contact with a student outside of school by telephone, e-
mail, Instant Messenger or Internet chat rooms, 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
Students and/or their parent/guardians are strongly encouraged to notify the principal or other
appropriate administrator if they believe a teacher or other staff members 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
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, student, and volunteer handbooks.
Cross Reference: ACAA – Harassment and Harassment of Students
JHA – Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
First Reading: 06/21/2006
Second Reading: 07/19/2006