ETHICS IN EDUCATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
GUIDELINES FOR OSCEOLA CHRISTIAN PREPARATORY WORKERS
In order to provide as safe and secure environment as possible for our school participants and to minimize the school’s and workers’ vulnerability to unwarranted accusation, the following procedures have been adopted by Osceola Christian Preparatory School
Volunteer Workers Screening Procedure
- Prior to consideration for a position, any candidate who may be volunteering with children will complete and return an initial “Volunteer Application”.
- The principal or will carefully review the “Volunteer Application” to make certain the worker is appropriate for the position, based on the information provided.
- Any information indicating a candidate poses a threat to others or has any prior history of physical or sexual abuse will result in the immediate removal of the candidate from consideration for a position with Osceola Christian Preparatory School.
- Workers are to be parents/guardians of children enrolled in our school.
Employee Screening Procedures
- Employees applications will be reviewed for compatibility with Osceola Christian Preparatory School and positions available.
- A statewide sexual offender background check and/or a national criminal/sexual offender background check will be performed through a law enforcement agency or other screening organization on all employees of this organization.
- Any information indicating a candidate poses a threat to others or has any prior history of physical or sexual abuse will result in the immediate removal of the candidate from consideration.
- Never touch a person’s private area, except when necessary (as in the case of injury).
- Workers should avoid any appearance of impropriety. This includes such things such as sitting older children on their lap, kissing, or improperly embracing, etc.
- Workers are to release children in their care only to parents, guardians, or persons specifically authorized to pick up the person.
- Workers are never to spank, hit, shake, or otherwise physically discipline anyone.
- Disciplinary problems should be reported to a parent or guardian.
- If disciplinary situations are not satisfactory resolved, the principal shall report to the Board of Education.
Injuries or Illness
- Persons who are ill (with a fever or having a communicable disease) will not be permitted to attend school.
- A suitable substitute (approved by the Board of Education) must be used to take the place of workers who are ill.
- Reasonable steps should be taken to avoid contact with body fluids of any kind.
- Persons who have received an injury should be given first aid as needed at the time of the injury. The person’s parent or guardian should be notified of the injury when they pick up the injured person.
- Any injury which may require medical attention should be given immediate attention. The parent or guardian of the injured person should be immediately notified. 911 should also be called if warranted by the injury.
- The teacher should prepare a written incident/notice for any major injury. The incident report should be kept on file.
Notice of Abuse, Neglect or Molestation
- Workers aware of any actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect have a duty to report these cases to the proper authorities.
- Allegations of abuse or sexual molestation against any employee or volunteer are to be reported to the principal.
- Any allegation of sexual abuse or molestation will be taken seriously and investigated.
- These allegations will be reported to the Board of Education and the proper authorities as required by Florida law.
- Any employee who is the subject of an investigation by the proper authorities will be removed from their position, with pay, pending completion of the investigation.
- Any person who is found guilty of sexual abuse or molestation will be removed from any work with children within the organization.
Responding to Law Enforcement
- All ministry leaders and employees will cooperate fully with any law enforcement or governmental agency that may be investigating allegations of injury, abuse, or molestation.
- The organization will promptly notify the school’s liability insurance carrier of any allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse for advice and guidance as soon as possible.
- A single organizational leader will be designated as spokesman following notice of any abuse or molestation in connection with activities of the school.
Revision of Policy/Procedures
This policy will be regularly reviewed by the Board of Education and can by modified in accordance with the bylaws of the organization. Any such modifications should be conveyed to all persons affected by the modification.
A Needs Assessment Checklist
The following checklists are items our school is doing to prevent sexual abuse.
- We currently screen all employees who work with youth and children.
- We currently require all volunteers who work with youth and children to fill out a “Volunteer Application”.
- We do a background check on all paid employees working with children or youth.
- We take all our policies to prevent sexual abuse seriously and see that they are enforced.
- Our workers understand Florida state law regarding child abuse reporting requirement.
- We have clearly defined reporting procedures for a suspected incident of abuse.
- We have a specific response procedure to use if an allegation or sexual abuse is made at our academy.
- We have sexual abuse liability coverage if a claim should occur
Osceola Christian Preparatory School Code of Ethics Policy & Procedures for Reporting Misconduct
Code of Ethics Policy
- The educator values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to
excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the
achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal
opportunity for all.
- The educator's primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the
development of the student's potential. The educator will therefore strive for professional growth
and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
- Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of one's colleagues, of
students, of parents, and of other members of the community, the educator strives to achieve and
sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.
- Even with the employer’s intent to maintain respect and confidence, it is the duty of the employer to report any misconduct of current or previous employees in keeping with Florida Statue 786.095, which states, an employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under chapter 760; and Florida Statute 39.203 which states,
(1)(a) Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or
required by this chapter, or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or
neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or
criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action.
(b) Except as provided in this chapter, nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to grant
immunity, civil or criminal, to any person suspected of having abused, abandoned, or neglected a
child, or committed any illegal act upon or against a child.
(2)(a) No resident or employee of a facility serving children may be subjected to reprisal or
discharge because of his or her actions in reporting abuse, abandonment, or neglect pursuant to
the requirements of this section.
(b) Any person making a report under this section shall have a civil cause of action for
appropriate compensatory and punitive damages against any person who causes detrimental
changes in the employment status of such reporting party by reason of his or her making such
report. Any detrimental change made in the residency or employment status of such person,
including, but not limited to, discharge, termination, demotion, transfer, or reduction in pay or
benefits or work privileges, or negative evaluations within a prescribed period of time shall establish a rebuttable presumption that such action was retaliatory.
Standards of Ethical Conduct
Osceola Christian Preparatory School
(Adapted from the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida and Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida)
- Our school values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
- Our primary concern is the student and the development of the student's potential. Employees will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
- Concern for the student requires that our instructional personnel:
- Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student's mental and/or physical health and/or safety.
- Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.
- Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view.
- Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student's academic program.
- Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.
- Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student's legal rights.
- Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination.
- Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.
- Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
- Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of colleagues, of students, of parents, and of the community, employees of our school must display the highest degree of ethical conduct. This commitment requires that our employees:
- Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
- Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition if otherwise qualified, or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization.
- Shall not interfere with a colleague's exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities. d. Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual's performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
- Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.
Training Requirement All instructional personnel and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct.
Reporting Misconduct by Instructional Personnel and Administrators All employees and administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression, and accepting or offering favors. Reports of misconduct of employees should be made to the Principal. Reports of misconduct committed by administrators should be made to a Director.
Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are posted in staff lounge and on our Web site a ocpschool.net.
Reporting Child Abuse, Abandonment or Neglect All employees and agents have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Call 1-800-96-ABUSE or report online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/.
Signs of Physical Abuse The child may have unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, or other injuries; broken bones; or burns. A child experiencing physical abuse may seem withdrawn or depressed, seem afraid to go home or may run away, shy away from physical contact, be aggressive, or wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries.
Signs of Sexual Abuse The child may have torn, stained or bloody underwear, trouble walking or sitting, pain or itching in genital area, or a sexually transmitted disease. A child experiencing sexual abuse may have unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively, fear a particular person, seem withdrawn or depressed, gain or lose weight suddenly, shy away from physical contact, or run away from home.
Signs of Neglect The child may have unattended medical needs, little or no supervision at home, poor hygiene, or appear underweight. A child experiencing neglect may be frequently tired or hungry, steal food, or appear overly needy for adult attention.
Patterns of Abuse: Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors. While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported.
Liability Protections Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by law, or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action. (F.S. 39.203)
An employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under F.S. Chapter 760. (F.S. 768.095)
My signature below certifies that I have received the training on the above material.
Employee’s Name ________________________________________________________
Employee’s Signature ________________________________ Date _____________