School employees hold positions of public trust. High standards of honesty, integrity, and fairness are to be exhibited by each school district employee when involved in any school district activity. Ethical behavior by staff is required and expected at all times while fulfilling one’s employment responsibilities and when at all school functions.
District employees are required and expected to:
Treat students, parents, fellow employees, and community members with respect. Conduct which is prohibited includes, but is not limited to:
Inappropriate verbal, visual or physical conduct, including jokes that demean an individual or group of individuals, spreading gossip about any individual, threatening another individual and all types of bullying behavior;
Without proper authorization and authority violating another person’s right of privacy and/or intentionally invading another person’s personal space;
Knowingly falsely blame an individual for conduct not done by the person.
Promote a safe, nurturing, and positive school and work environment. Conduct which is prohibited includes, but is not limited to:
Any conduct that is severe and objectively offensive so that it creates or results in an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment or has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or student’s performance;
Threatening, harassing, punishing or retaliating behavior against students and/or other employees.
Maintain confidentiality concerning students, families and employees.
Act in a manner consistent with District policies, legal and contractual standards, responsibilities, and obligations.
Model and promote appropriate dress and language.
Report to a school administrator knowledge of mismanagement, waste of funds, misuse of school property, abuse of authority, threats to safety, violations of policies and regulations, or other conduct that damages integrity or reputation of the school district.
Refrain from using school employment to promote personal political and/or religious views.
In addition to the foregoing, the District, within this policy, adopts and incorporates into this policy as if set forth in full, the South Dakota Department of Education Professional Teachers Ethics as set forth in ARSD 24:08:03. The Professional Teachers Ethics as incorporated into this policy applies to:
Teachers – a person charged with responsibility in the field of education and certified by the secretary of the Department of Education as a teacher or other specialist employed or contracted to provide services in an educational setting,
Education Specialists – a person with specialized training or licensure, not serving as a classroom teacher, but employed or contracted to provide services in an educational setting, and
Noncertified Educators – a person charged with responsibility in the field of education who is not certified by the secretary of the Department of Education as a teacher, administrator, or other education specialist, but who is employed or contracted to provide services in an educational setting.
Furthermore, the District, within this policy, adopts and incorporates into this policy as if set forth in full, the South Dakota Department of Education Professional Administrators Ethics as set forth in ARSD 24:11:03. The Professional Administrators Ethics as incorporated into this policy applies to:
Any employee who believes a staff member has engaged in conduct which violates the code of conduct shall immediately report the alleged misconduct to their immediate supervisor. If the concern/complaint involves the individual’s immediate supervisor, the complaint may be filed with any administrator within the school district.
All complaints will be investigated and should the investigation result in a determination of unethical behavior by a school employee such unethical behavior shall constitute just cause for discipline, up to and including termination of employment. A complaint reported which was intentionally and knowingly false will result in disciplinary action being taken against the person or persons involved in the false complaint being made.