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Board Policy 4400 - Inappropriate Relationships between Students and Employees, Volunteers and Contractors

I.  Inappropriate Relationships between Students and Employees, Volunteers and Contractors

The Board of Education is committed to providing a quality education to all students in a safe and secure environment. Employees, volunteers and contractors in the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) are expected to maintain courteous and professional relationships with students. Legally and ethically, these individuals have a responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning through the maintenance of appropriate physical and emotional boundaries with students.

II.  Prohibited Contact

PGCPS employees, volunteers or contractors shall not date, have sexual relations or have an inappropriate relationship with any student, regardless of whether the student is enrolled in our school system or another. These boundaries must be maintained regardless of the student's age, the perceived consensual nature of the relationship, the location of the activity or whether the employee directly supervises the student.

III.  Consequences

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination; notification of Child Protective Services; a report to the local police; and a request to the State Superintendent of Schools to suspend or revoke the employee’s professional certificate, as appropriate. In addition, action will be taken by the PGCPS to bar contractors and volunteers from being selected for future contracts and school volunteering, respectively.

IV.  Administrative Procedures

The Board of Education directs the Chief Executive Officer to adopt and/or update administrative procedures consistent with this policy. The administrative procedures should include, but are not limited to:

A.  A clear prohibition against the type of conduct that falls under dating, sexual relations and inappropriate relationships with students that will not be tolerated in PGCPS, including:

  1. any communication or contact with a student that is of a sexual nature;
  2. using personal, non-PGCPS accounts or devices - such as cell phones, tablets and computers - to text, email or otherwise communicate with students without a supervisor or manager’s prior approval;
  3. knowingly granting students access to any portion of the employee's personal social networking website or webpage that is not accessible to the general public, or which includes discussion of the employee’s private life that would be inappropriate to discuss with a student at school, among others;
  4. being alone with a student in a windowless room with a closed or locked door;
  5. being alone with a student in a personal or non-PGCPS vehicle;
  6. associating with students in any setting that involves the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs; and
  7. any other conduct specifically prohibited by law.

B.  Reporting procedures for employees, volunteers or contractors who believe an individual is violating this policy and procedure; and

C.  Mandatory training that principals and supervisors must provide to review the policy and administrative procedures with employees at the beginning of each school year.

See also: Administrative Procedure 0700; Administrative Procedure 4126; Administrative Procedure 5180

 Policy Adopted 7/19/16

About This Policy

Updated July 19, 2016