Staff Conduct with Students

Code: DWM

Maine School Administrative District No. 31


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.

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 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

this policy.

Reporting Violations

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.

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, 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

Adopted: 07/19/2006