Standards of Ethical Conduct
At Killian Oaks Academy, we believe that every member of our school community deserves dignity and respect. We foster tolerance, acceptance of others, and kindness by providing a supportive and nurturing environment. To support this goal, we adhere to the standards of ethical conduct and to those principles and policies outlined in our school handbook. In this manner, we build each student’s resilience and self-esteem as we mentor and guide them to attain personal success.
All staff members (which shall include all employees, faculty, or other staff) must strictly adhere to the Standards of Ethical Conduct as detailed in this document.
Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida
The following disciplinary rules shall constitute the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida. Violation of any of these principles shall subject the individual to revocation or suspension of the individual educator’s certificate, or the other penalties as provided by law.
- The educator values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and 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.
- Obligation to the student requires that the individual:
- Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning, to the student’s mental 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, national origin, gender, gender orientation, age, disability, handicap, citizenship status, marital status, religion, or any other protected status in accordance with the requirements of all federal, state, and local laws, 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.
- The educator should be 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 should strive to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.
This commitment requires that all staff members:
- Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
- Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender orientation, ethnicities, national or ethnic origin, age, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping conditions 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.
- 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.
Reporting Misconduct by Instructional Personnel and Administrators
All staff members 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 innuendos, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression, and accepting or offering favors. Reports of misconduct of staff members should be made to Ms. Mercedes Ricón, Director of Killian Oaks Academy, in person or via phone at (305) 274-2221. Reports of misconduct committed by administrators should be made to Ms. Mercedes Ricón, Director of Killian Oaks Academy, in person or via phone at (305) 274-2221 and the Office of Professional Practices Services via phone at (850) 245-0438.
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 the copy room, located in the 100 building of The Academy’s campus, and on our website at https://killianoaksacademy.com/ethics.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, Abandonment, and/or Neglect
All staff members and agents have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, and/or neglect to the Department of Children and Families at the statewide toll-free hotline 1-800-96-ABUSE, or 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.
Immunity from Liability in Cases of Child Abuse, Abandonment, or Neglect: “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.” [F.S. 39.203 (1) (a)]
Employer Immunity from Liability; Disclosure of Information Regarding Former or current employees: “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.” [F.S. 768.095]
The educator will complete the Killian Oaks Academy Ethics in Education and Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, Abandonment, and/or Neglect training seminars as a condition of continued employment.