Professional Boundaries of Staff with Students

BP 5141.42




The District is committed to protecting children from inappropriate conduct by adults, including school staff and volunteers. The purpose of this policy is to provide all staff, students, volunteers and community members with information about their role in protecting children. This policy applies to all district staff and volunteers. For purposes of this policy and its administrative regulation, the terms "district staff," "staff member(s)," and "staff" also includes volunteers.

General Standards

Maintain professional boundaries: The Board expects all staff to maintain the highest professional standards when they interact with students. District staff are required to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning by consistently maintaining professional boundaries with students. The interactions and relationships between district staff and students should be based upon mutual respect and trust, an understanding of the appropriate boundaries between adults and students in and outside of the educational setting, and consistency with the district's educational mission. 

District staff will not intrude on a student's physical and/or emotional boundaries unless the intrusion is necessary to serve a bona fide health, safety of educational purpose. An educational purpose is one that relates to the staff member's duties as an educator. Additionally, staff members are expected to avoid any appearance of impropriety in their conduct when interacting with students.

Reporting violations of professional boundaries: Whenever a staff member observes another staff member engaging in inappropriate boundary invasions with a student, they must report what they have observed to administration. When in doubt, report it out.

Preexisting, outside relationships with students: The Board recognizes that staff may have familial and pre-existing social relationships with parents/guardians/caretakers of students and students. This could create dual relationships with students. Staff members should use sound professional judgement when they have a dual relationship with students to avoid violating this policy. In all such relationships staff should avoid any appearance of impropriety with any student and any appearance of favoritism toward any student.

Staff members shall pro-actively discuss dual relationship circumstances with their building administrator or supervisor. Regardless of any preexisting relationship with students outside of work, when on the job as an educator, staff shall abide by this policy and its accompanying administrative regulations.

Use of technology:  The Board supports the use of technology to communicate for educational purposes. However, unless the student is the staff member's own child, staff are prohibited from communicating privately with students on-line or from engaging in any conduct on social networking websites that violates the law, district policies or procedures, or other generally recognized professional standards.

Staff whose conduct violates this policy may face disciplinary and/or termination consistent with the district's policies and procedures, acceptable use agreement, and collective bargaining agreements, as applicable.

Training:  The Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee will develop staff training relating to this policy, including protocols for reporting and investigating allegations and develop procedures and training to accompany this policy.

(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)
(cf. 5131.43 - Harassment, intimidation and bullying)
(cf. 5137 - Positive school climate)
(cf. 5141.4 - Child abuse and neglect)
(cf. 6161.4 - Internet)
(cf. 6161.5 - Web sites)



11.61.120      Harassment in the second degree
14.08.111      Duties
14.14.090      Duties of School Boards
14.30.355      Sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention
14.30.360      Curriculum (health and safety education)
14.33.200      Harassment, intimidation and bullying
14.33.210      Reporting of incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying
14.33.220      Reporting no reprisals
14.33.250      Definitions
14.33.240      Immunity from suit
47.14.300      Multidisciplinary Child protection teams
47.17.010      Child protection
47.17.020      Persons required to report
47.17.022      Training



Adoption Date:  8/12/2020