Ethics, Code of Conduct and Child Abuse

All instructional personnel and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct.

This code of ethics has been adapted from the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida. Every IBCK Educational Center employee is required, as a condition of employment, to adhere to the provisions of this code.

The educator 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.

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.

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 strives to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.

The following disciplinary rule 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 and, by extension, will
disqualify the person from employment with IBCK Educational Center.

1. Obligation to the student requires that the individual:

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 immediately report any suspicion of abuse or neglect of a student to the State of Florida’s child abuse hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

c. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.

d. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view. 

e. Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s academic
program.

f. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.

g. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights.

h. 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, or social
and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected
from harassment or discrimination.

i. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.

j. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.

2. Obligation to the public requires that the individual:

a. Shall take reasonable precautions to distinguish between personal views and those of any educational institution or organization with which the individual is affiliated.

b. Shall not intentionally distort or misrepresent facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression.

c. Shall not use institutional privileges for personal gain or advantage.

d. Shall accept no gratuity, gift, or favor that might influence professional judgment.

e. Shall offer no gratuity, gift, or favor to obtain special advantages.

3. Obligation to the profession of education requires that the individual:

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, intimidating, 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.

f. Shall immediately report to one’s direct supervisor any instance or incident involving alleged
employee or administrator misconduct that affects the health, safety or welfare of a student.

Please note that legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators must
be reported to the State of Florida Office of Professional Practices Services using the Educator
Misconduct Reporting Form. The form is included as part of this booklet.

g. Shall not use coercive means or promise special treatment to influence professional judgments of colleagues.

h. Shall not misrepresent one’s own professional qualifications.

i. Shall not submit fraudulent information on any document in connection with professional activities.

j. Shall not make any fraudulent statement or fail to disclose a material fact in one’s own or another’s application for a professional position.

k. Shall not withhold information regarding a position from an applicant or misrepresent an assignment or conditions of employment.

l. Shall provide upon the request of the certificated individual a written statement of specific reason for recommendations that lead to the denial of increments, significant changes in employment, or termination of employment.

m. Shall not assist entry into or continuance in the profession of any person known to be unqualified in accordance with these Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida and other applicable Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules.

n. Shall self-report within forty-eight (48) hours to one’s direct supervisor any arrests/charges involving the abuse of a child or the sale and/or possession of a controlled substance. Such notice shall not be considered an admission of guilt nor shall such notice be admissible for any purpose in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory. In addition, shall self-report any conviction, finding of guilt, withholding of adjudication, commitment to a pretrial diversion program, or entering of a plea of guilty or Nolo Contendre for
any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation within forty-eight (48) hours after the final judgment. In the case of sealed and expunged records disclosed under this rule, the School will comply with the confidentiality provisions of Sections 943.0585(4)(c) and 943.059(4)(c), Florida Statutes.

o. Shall report to appropriate authorities any known allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), Florida
Statutes.

p. Shall seek no reprisal against any individual who has reported any allegation of a violation of
the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section1012.795(1),
Florida Statutes.

q. Shall comply with the conditions of an order of the Education Practices Commission.

  • 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.
  • If a child tells YOU about abuse:
  • Be a good listener. Show that you understand and believe what the child tells you.
    Encourage, but don’t pressure him/her to talk. Ask open ended questions.
  • Be supportive. Tell the child he/she did the right thing by coming to you. Stress that
    he/she is not to blame. Let the child know that you want to help.
  • Don’t overreact. This can frighten the child or prevent him/her from telling you more. Do
    not talk negatively about the suspected abuser in front of the child.
  • Document and report it. Document your conversation as soon as you can. If possible,
    write down the child’s exact words.
  •  Don’t delay. Never assume someone else will report the abuse. The sooner it’s reported,
    the sooner the child and their family can be helped.

Doctors
Nurses
Social Workers
Police Officers
Child Care Workers
Any Witnesses
Any/All School Personnel

Call or Report it online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/

Below is the text of Florida Statutes Chapter 39.203, which provides for immunity from liability for persons reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect as required by law. This, however, does not provide immunity to someone suspected of engaging in the prohibited conduct. The Statute also protects employees from being disciplined for reporting the prohibited conduct as required by law and establishes a civil cause of action for employees who are punished for carrying out their obligations under the law as part of this Statute.
Florida Statutes Chapter 39.203: Immunity from liability in cases of child abuse, abandonment,
or neglect.
(1)(a) 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.
(b) Except as provided in this chapter, nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to grant immunity, civil or criminal, to any person suspected of having abused, abandoned, or neglected a child, or committed any illegal act upon or against a child.
(2)(a) No resident or employee of a facility serving children may be subjected to reprisal or discharge because of his or her actions in reporting abuse, abandonment, or neglect pursuant to the requirements of this section.
(b) Any person making a report under this section shall have a civil cause of action for  appropriate compensatory and punitive damages against any person who causes detrimental changes in the employment status of such reporting party by reason of his or her making such report. Any detrimental change made in the residency or employment status of such person,
including, but not limited to, discharge, termination, demotion, transfer, or reduction in pay or
benefits or work privileges, or negative evaluations within a prescribed period of time shall
establish a rebuttable presumption that such action was retaliatory.

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