NORTHFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION FILE CODE: 4119.22/4219.22
Northfield, New Jersey Monitored
Policy X Other Reasons
INAPPROPRIATE STAFF CONDUCT
The personal life of an employee is not an appropriate concern of the board except as it may directly prevent the employee from performing his/her properly assigned functions during the work day or affect his/her professional relationship with students.
Inappropriate Staff Conduct
The Northfield Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of all pupils within this school district. Furthermore, the board recognizes there exists a professional responsibility for all school staff to protect a pupil’s health, safety and welfare. The board strongly believes that school staff members have the public’s trust and confidence to protect the well-being of all pupils attending the school district.
In support of this board’s strong commitment to the public’s trust and confidence of school staff, the board of education holds all school staff to the highest level of professional responsibility in their conduct with all pupils. Inappropriate conduct and conduct unbecoming a school staff member will not be tolerated in this school district.
The board recognizes and appreciates the staff-pupil professional relationship that exists in a school district’s educational environment. This policy has been developed and adopted by this board to provide guidance and direction to avoid actual and/or the appearance of inappropriate staff conduct and conduct unbecoming a school staff member toward pupils.
School staff’s conduct in completing their professional responsibilities shall be appropriate at all times. School staff shall not make inappropriate comments to pupils or about pupils and shall not engage in inappropriate language or expression in the presence of pupils. School staff shall not engage in inappropriate conduct toward or with pupils. School staff shall not engage or seek to be in the presence of a pupil beyond the staff member’s professional responsibilities. School staff shall not provide transportation to a pupil in their private vehicle or permit a pupil into their private vehicle when school is in session unless there is an emergency or a special circumstance that has been approved in advance by the Building Principal/immediate supervisor and the parent/guardian.
A school staff member is always expected to maintain a professional relationship with pupils and protect the health, safety and welfare of school pupils. A staff member’s conduct will be held to the professional standards established by the New Jersey State Board of Education and the New Jersey Commissioner of Education. Inappropriate conduct or conduct unbecoming a staff member may also include conduct not specifically listed in this policy, but conduct determined by the New Jersey State Board of Education, the New Jersey Commissioner of Education and/or appropriate courts to be inappropriate or conduct unbecoming a school staff member.
School personnel, compensated and uncompensated (volunteers), are required to report to their immediate supervisor or building principal any possible violations of this policy. In the event the report alleges conduct by the building principal or the immediate supervisor, the school staff member may report directly to the Affirmative Action Officer. In addition, school personnel having reasonable cause to believe a pupil has been subjected to child abuse or neglect or acts of child abuse or neglect as defined under N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.10 are required to immediately report to the Division of Youth and Family Services in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-10.1 et seq. and inform the building principal or immediate supervisor after making such report. However, notice to the building principal or designee need not be given when the school staff member believes such notice would likely endanger the referrer or child(ren) involved or when the staff member believes that such
disclosure would likely result in retaliation against the child or in discrimination against the referrer with respect to his/her employment.
Reports may be made in writing or with verbal notification. The immediate supervisor or building principal will notify the Affirmative Action Officer of all reports, including anonymous reports. The Affirmative Action Officer will investigate all reports with a final report to the Superintendent of Schools. The Affirmative Action Officer upon reviewing an initial report or the Superintendent, upon reviewing the Affirmative Action Officer’s investigation report, may take such appropriate action as necessary and as provided for in the law. This may include, but is not limited to, notifying law enforcement, notifying the Division of Youth and Family Services in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-10.2 et seq., and/or any other measure provided for in the law.
If the initial complaint is against the Affirmative Action Officer, the Superintendent of Schools shall be notified of the report and conduct the investigation.
This policy will be distributed to all school staff and provided to staff members at anytime, upon request.
Adopted: October 20, 2008
NJSBA Review/Update: July 2010; December 2010
Adopted: October 24, 2011
Legal References: N.J.S.A. 18A:6-10 Dismissal and reduction in compensation of persons under tenure in public school system
N.J.S.A. 18A:11-1 General mandatory powers and duties
N.J.S.A. 18A:27-4 Power of boards of education to make rules governing employment of teacher,
N.J.S.A. 18A:54-20 Powers of board (county vocational schools)
Hicks v. Pemberton Bd. of Ed., 1975 S.L.D. 332
Quiroli v. Linwood Bd. of Ed., 1974 S.L.D. 1035
Carlstadt Teachers Ass’n v. Carlstadt Bd. of Ed., App. Div., unreported decision (docket no. A-1469-80-T4, decided March 26, 1982), 1982 S.L.D. 1448
Cross References: 4117.50 Standards for staff discipline
*4119.21 Conflict of interest
*4119.23 Employee substance abuse
4119.24 Staff/student relations
*4138 Nonschool employment
*4138.2 Private tutoring
*6144 Controversial issues
*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.