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HILLSBOROUGH BAPTIST SCHOOL ETHICS POLICY
Employees of Hillsborough Baptist School will manifest by precept and example the highest Christian virtue and personal decorum. Serving as a Christian role model both in and out of school to pupils and as an example to parents and fellow employees in discernment, dignity, respect, and Christian living is expected. Some of the HBS principles for Honorable conduct are found in Romans chapters 12 through 15. Employees are to exemplify the school mission of “Inspiring Excellence, Nurturing Honor, and Fostering Growth,” through personal, professional, and ethical conduct and communication. Employees are to commit to the school’s philosophy and goals of education through honorable conduct. Employees who display questionable conduct or conduct that is contrary to the Bible, HBS Mission, Philosophy of Education, Qualifications and Conditions of Employment, Statement of Faith, Vision Statement, or any other school policies or procedures may be suspended without pay or dismissed. If at any time the employee is out of harmony with the philosophy, standards, or Administration of the school, he/she will immediately make this fact known to the Administration, and shall voluntarily withdraw from employment, or be subject to termination for cause.
6B-1.001 Code Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida
1. Hillsborough Baptist 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.
2. Hillsborough Baptist School’s primary concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student’s potential. Hillsborough Baptist School will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
3. Concern for the student requires that our instructional personnel:
a. 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.
b. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.
c. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view.
d. Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s academic program.
e. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.
f. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights.
g. 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.
h. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.
i. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
4. 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 all employees of HBS:
a. Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
b. 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.
c. 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, intimidated, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
e. Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.
All instructional personnel, educational support employees, and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct.
• All instructional personnel, educational support employees, and school administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel, educational support employees 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, Doug Boyd at 813-620-0683.
• Reports of misconduct committed by administrators should be made to Pastor Steve Barber at 813-620-0683.
• 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, educational support employees, or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are posted in the teachers’ lounge over the mail boxes, in the Faculty Handbook, and on the school website at www.hillsboroughbaptist.com/general-9.
Reporting Child Abuse, Abandonment, or Neglect
All employees and agents of Hillsborough Baptist School 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 and 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.
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).
As a matter of professional ethics, no faculty or staff member is to discuss any student issue regarding discipline, grades, health, or personal issues in the presence of any other person who is not that student’s parent, teacher, or the supervisor. No faculty or staff member is to relate or discuss, outside of a professional conference or faculty meeting, any student issue or actions of the school. Even in a faculty meeting or professional conference, student names should not be used when discussing sensitive information.