Code of Conduct for Employees at Jesuit High School (AB500)
Boundaries on Interactions with Students
The Catholic, Jesuit concept of cura personalis, which translates as care of the whole person, suggests conscious attention to the needs of others, distinct respect for unique circumstances and concerns, and an appropriate appreciation for singular gifts and insights. All members of Jesuit High School’s adult community are expected to exhibit this concern for others, most especially when interacting with Jesuit High School students. Caring relationships with students, while encouraged, are also challenging in our society. Establishing clear and consistent boundaries for appropriate adult/student interaction is a necessity.
It is also important to keep in mind, in any discussion of boundaries with students, that common sense should always dictate your actions. No discussion of boundaries will be all-encompassing. As a school, we will always encourage teachers to err on the side of caution. The Jesuit Secondary Education Association’s Document, “Go Forth and Teach” states:
“Growth in the responsible use of freedom is facilitated by the personal relationship between student and teacher. Teachers and administrators are involved in the lives of the students, taking a personal interest in the intellectual, affective, moral and spiritual development of every student, helping each one to develop a sense of self-worth and to become a responsible individual within the community.”
The following guidelines are minimums for teacher-student interaction:
In order to carry out the mission of Jesuit High School while at the same time ensuring appropriate boundaries with students, the following are prohibited behaviors for all employees:
a) Harassment of students;
b) Inappropriate physical contact;
c) Using, possessing or being under the influence of illegal drugs when in the presence of, and/or while supervising minors;
d) Using, possessing or being under the influence of alcohol while supervising minors;
e) Providing or allowing minors to use alcohol or illegal drugs;
f) Routine use of profanity in the presence of minors;
g) Speaking to minors in a way that is or could be reasonably construed by an observer as harsh, physically threatening, intimidating, shaming, derogatory, demeaning or humiliating;
h) Discussing sexual activities with a minor;
i) Engaging in any sexually-oriented conversation with minors unless the conversations are part of a legitimate lesson and discussion regarding human sexuality;
j) Sharing with, or showing to minors, sexually inappropriate material; or
k) Any behavior or action that falls within the legal definition of child abuse
Further Definition: Harassment of Students
Jesuit High School prohibits any harassment of students, in the same way it prohibits unlawful harassment of employees. Harassment consists of unwelcome, inappropriate conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based upon a protected characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law. Any such conduct should be reported immediately to a supervisor or school administrator. All such complaints will be taken seriously and promptly investigated. The school also prohibits any manner of retaliation against anyone who makes a report of perceived or suspected harassment of students. The school will take disciplinary action against any employee found to have engaged in harassment or retaliation in violation of this policy, up to and including termination of employment.
Physical Contact: Physical contact with a student can be misconstrued. Contact between a student and an employee should, if at all, be completely non-sexual in nature and otherwise appropriate and take place in a public setting. Physical discipline is never acceptable. This prohibition includes spanking, slapping, pinching, hitting or applying any other physical force as retaliation or correction for inappropriate behaviors of minors.
Statements Regarding Students’ Family Members: An employee should never criticize a student’s parent(s) to the student. If you have questions or concerns about a decision that his parent(s) has (have) made, please talk with the student’s counselor and/or an administrative team member.
Students in Your Home: If an employee chooses to have a Jesuit High School student or students in his or her home for any reason (yard work, babysitting, team or club BBQ, etc.), the employee must have the written permission of the student’s or students’ parents to do so. Employees should also inform their direct supervisor if they do this.
Driving Students in Your Personal Vehicle (non-school related): If employees choose to drive a student or students in the employee’s own vehicle (home from a practice, etc.), they must have permission from a parent of the student(s). Employees are not covered by school insurance if they choose to drive a student in their personal vehicles for a non-school event. Employees should avoid regularly driving students in their personal vehicles.
Cell Phone Use: If employees are communicating school-related information (change of time or location for an event) that must be communicated in a timely way, communicating by cell phone is permissible. Parents of students in the school-sponsored activity should be informed that employees may be communicating via text and/or cell phone with their children. Employees should also inform their direct supervisor that this is sometimes their practice. Calling a student on his cell phone to discuss non-school related topics is never permissible.
Email: All email communication between a Jesuit High School employee and current students must be through the employee’s Jesuit High School email account.
Social Networking Sites (Facebook, Instagram, etc.): Jesuit High School Employees must not “friend” or include current students in their personal social network(s).
Twitter/Blogging: Employees are asked to keep in mind that these are public forums. Employees who “tweet” or blog should refrain from any reference to Jesuit students, families, or other employees. Employees should also refrain from any expressions of opinion that conflict with school policies or mission.
Any employee who has knowledge of a boundary violation between an employee and a student must immediately inform a school officer of the violation.