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Staff/Student Interaction Policy

RSCS 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, staff, or other persons or to prevent damage to property.

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

  1.           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.
  2.           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 Staff/Student Behavior

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

Although this policy gives specific, clear direction, it is each staff member’s obligation to avoid situations that could prompt suspicion by parents, students, colleagues, or school 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 staff 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 a staff member’s perspective, but can be perceived as flirtation or sexual insinuation from a student or parent’s point of view. The objective of the following lists of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors is not to restrain innocent, positive relationships between staff and students, but to prevent relationships that could lead to, or may be perceived as sexual misconduct.

Staff 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/staff interactions must have boundaries surrounding potential activities, locations and intentions.

 

Duty to Report Suspected Misconduct

When any employee becomes aware of another staff member having crossed the boundaries specified in this policy, he or she must speak to this staff member if the violation appears minor, or report the matter to school administrators. If the observed behavior appears significant, it is the duty of every staff member to immediately report it to an administrator. All reports shall be confidential. It is the duty of the administrator and/or HR 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.

 

Unacceptable Staff/Student Behaviors (Violations of this Policy)

  • Kissing of ANY kind.  
  • Any type of unnecessary physical contact with a student in a private situation.  
  • Intentionally being alone with a student away from the school.  
  • Making or participating in sexually inappropriate comments.  
  • Listening to or telling sexual jokes or jokes and/or comments with sexual double-entendre.  
  • Seeking or offering emotional involvement (which can include intimate attachment) with a student beyond the normative care and concern required of an educator.  
  • Listening to or telling sexually-oriented stories.  
  • Discussing staff’s personal troubles or intimate issues with a student, especially in an attempt to gain their support and understanding.  
  • Becoming involved with a student so that a reasonable person may suspect inappropriate behavior.  
  • Remarks about the physical attributes or physiological development of anyone outside of an academic discussion that is part of a course curriculum.   
  • Sending electronic communications, such as chats, e-mails, text messages, pictures, social media instant or direct messages or responses, or letters to students if the content is not about school activities.  
  • Being alone in a room with a student at school and with the door closed, unless otherwise required as part of a state-mandated privileged conversation (such as a school counselor, school psychologist, school nurse, mental health professional).  
  • Involving students in non-educational or non-school related issues, including, but not limited to, the employee’s employment issues.  
  • Using profanity with or to a student.  
  • Being “friends” with a student on any personal or non-School social media website.  
  • Allowing students in your home without signed parent permission for a pre-planned and pre-communicated educational activity which must include another educator, parent, or other responsible adults.  
  • Giving students a ride to/from school or school activities without parent permission, or outside of a legally mandated purpose.

 

Acceptable and Recommended Staff/Student Behaviors

  • Obtaining parents’ written consent for any after-school activities on or off campus.  
  • Obtaining formal written approval (from school site and parents) to take students off of school property for activities such as field trips or competitions.  
  • Engaging in communication with students that is professional, pertains to school activities or classes, and is easily accessible to the minor student’s parent or legal guardian.  
  • Keeping the door open when alone with a student.  
  • Keeping a reasonable space between you and your students.  
  • Stopping and correcting students if they cross your own personal boundaries.  
  • Refer students to the appropriate staff person that is trained to address their particular concerns. 
  • Be aware of the legally protected confidentiality rights of students and parents. 
  • Keeping staff supervisor and student’s parents informed when a significant issue develops about a student.  
  • Keeping after-class discussions with a student professional and brief.  
  • Asking for advice from senior staff or administrators if you find yourself in a difficult situation related to Boundaries.  
  • Involving your supervisor if a conflict arises with a student.  
  • Informing your 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 the responsibility to stop unacceptable behavior of students and/or co-workers.  
  • Asking another staff member to be present if you will be alone with any student.  
  • Asking another staff member to be present, or within close supervisory distance, when you must be alone with a student after regular school hours.  
  • Giving students praise and recognition without touching them.  
  • Keeping your professional conduct a high priority during all moments of student contact.  
  • Asking yourself if any of your actions, which go contrary to these provisions, are worth sacrificing your job and career.

Testimonials

Springs keep parents in the loop. With teachers’ support, parents have the necessary tools to reach their children at home while constantly being in touch if help is needed.

- K. LaFon, Parent
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