Standards of Ethical Conduct for Instructional Personnel and Administrators
The following Standards of ethical Conduct are adapted from “The Code of Ethics and The Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida” promulgated by the Florida Department of Education.
- Westlake Preparatory School & Academy disqualifies from employment any instructional personnel or school administrator who is convicted of an act listed under s.1012.315, F.S.
- Westlake Preparatory School & Academy conducts an employment history check before employing instructional personnel or school administrators in any position that requires direct contact with students and documents the findings.
- Westlake Preparatory School & Academy screens the personnel or administrator through the Professional Practice Database of Disciplinary Actions and the Teacher Certification Database and documents the findings.
- Westlake Preparatory School & Academy prohibits confidentiality agreements with instructional personnel or school administrators who are dismissed, terminated, or resign in lieu of termination due to misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student.
Our teachers and staff are highly respected professionals and members of our communities; WPS works hard to hold employees to a high standard of ethics and principles. Unfortunately, employees’ misconduct occurs and is a serious concern for communities and schools across the country.
Every WPS employee should be aware of the following behaviors that might be indicative of misconduct:
- Being alone with a student in dark or closed room or secluded area
- Behaving in an overly friendly or familiar way or failing to maintain an appropriate professional boundary with a student
- Using forceful or unnecessary physical contact with a student Administering discipline not compliant with school policy
- Accepting or offering of gifts for return of a favor or privilege from students or colleagues
- Badgering or habitually teasing a student
- Mocking or belittling a student
- Chronically embarrassing a student
- Displaying prejudice or bigotry against a student
- Suspicion of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to properly supervise students or to ensure student safety
- Cheating, falsifying information or testing violations
- Retaliating against a student or colleague for reporting misconduct
- Bantering or engaging in colloquial or slang communications with a student
- Directing or using profane, offensive, or explosive language in the presence of students
- Making suggestive comments or overtures toward a student or colleague
- Conducting, allowing, or engaging in conversation and/or actions with a student or students or colleagues that is sexual or other inappropriate and not aligned with ethical standards. It is the responsibility of the employee to report such conversations and/or actions to administration.
The following policies are strictly enforced at Westlake Preparatory School & Academy:
- Westlake Preparatory School & Academy employees are required to attend complete training on the adopted standards of ethical conduct.
- Westlake Preparatory School & Academy employees have a duty to report misconduct by instructional personnel. This report is required to be done immediately.
- Employees who should be reported are classrooms teachers, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, librarians, guidance counselors, social workers, career specialists, psychologists, principal, assistant principal, and deans.
- Consequences for failing to report misconduct may include: written reprimand, suspension with or without pay, termination of employment, and discipline/sanctions on an educators certificate.
- Misconduct by instructional personnel has to be reported to the principal.
Misconduct has to be reported to: Westlake Preparatory School & Academy Executive Director and Board of Directors’ President, Mrs. Robyn Pepitone. (Call the school for her contact information)
It is important to document the details of the event and to secure evidence, if available. Employees reporting misconduct will be sheltered under the liability protections provided under ss.39.203 and 768.095, F.S.
Florida Statutes and Rules
- Florida Statutes s. 1006.061 states all employees and agents of the district school board, charter schools and private schools that accept scholarship students have an obligation to report misconduct by an instructional personnel member or school administrator
- Florida Statutes s. 1012.33 outlines disciplinary procedures regarding district employment contracts with instructional personnel staff, supervisors and school principals
- Florida Statutes s. 1012.795 provides the Education Practices Commission the authority to issue disciplinary action against an individual’s Florida Educator certificate
- Florida Statutes s. 1012.796 provides authority for the Department of Education to investigate and prosecute allegations of educator misconduct
- Florida Statute s. 1012.01 defines public school instructional personnel, administrative personnel, school volunteers, education support employees and managers
- Florida Statutes s. 39.203 Immunity from liability in cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
- Florida Statutes s. 768.095 Employer immunity from liability; disclosure of information regarding former or current employees
- State Board of Education Rule 6B-1.001 defines the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida
- State Board of Education Rule 6B-1.006 defines the Principals of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida
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