Code of Conduct
(California law AB 500 requires the following information be posted on our website.)
MCDS believes that the interaction between MCDS employees and students is very important and we would like to make you aware of the schools policies regarding these issues which are listed below.
The School encourages close, warm relationships between students and School faculty and staff. At the same time, it is important that each employee’s conduct is at all times professional. Employees must maintain appropriate boundaries between themselves and students to ensure that they avoid even the perception of inappropriate conduct. Some activities may seem innocent from an employee’s perspective but can be perceived as flirtation or sexual insinuation from the perspective of a student or parent. The objective of this policy is not to restrain positive relationships between employees and students, but to prevent relationships that could lead to, or may be perceived as, sexual misconduct. Employees must ensure that they do not cross the boundaries of a professional relationship.
Below is a list of examples of conduct that may involve inappropriate crossing of the boundaries of the professional relationship:
- Giving gifts to an individual student that are of a personal or intimate nature;
- Unnecessary physical contact with a student in either a public or private situation;
- Intentionally being alone with a student on campus or away from the school without parent or supervisor knowledge or permission;
- Making, or participating in sexually inappropriate comments;
- Sexual jokes, stories, or jokes/comments with sexual innuendo;
- Seeking emotional involvement with a student for an employee’s benefit;
- Discussing an employee’s own personal troubles or intimate issues with a student;
- Becoming involved with a student so that a reasonable person may suspect inappropriate behavior;
- Inappropriate use of social media with or about students;
- Excessive attention toward a particular student;
- Texting with students;
- Using personal email or social media to communicate with students rather than using school email;
- Sending communications to students of a personal nature if the content is not about school activities; or
- Failing to keep the appropriate administrator or counselor informed when a significant issue develops about a student.
- Swearing or using inappropriate language in the presence of students
Duty to Report
If an employee finds him or herself in a difficult situation related to boundaries, the employee should ask for advice from a supervisor or a School administrator. When any employee becomes aware of another employee crossing appropriate boundaries with a student, the employee must report the matter to the supervisor or Assistant Head for Finance and Operations. In some circumstances, employees will also have the duty to report such conduct in accordance with the mandated reporter requirements.
Outside Employment by Current MCDS Families
No classroom teacher or support teacher may accept outside employment for families/students currently in their class. Examples include tutoring, child care, driving, providing birthday party entertainment, etc. These types of arrangements may appear as a preferential treatment toward that student or family. Avoiding these kinds of activities also helps to create a greater sense of equity in the community through sensitivity toward the range of families’ economic backgrounds. When in doubt or need of clarification, please discuss this with your Division Head.
This policy is explained to parents in the Family Handbook as follows: To avoid any perception of conflict of interest, teachers may not work directly with families of students in their own homeroom or advisory group outside of the school program. Examples include tutoring, child care, birthday party entertainment, driving, etc. Exceptions are school-sponsored purposes, such as an auction event.
Specialists who are hired to work at birthday parties or special family events of children that they teach should use extreme care and sensitivity.