ETHICAL ISSUES FOR ADMINISTRATORS IN THE DIGITAL WORLD. The Education Professional Standards Board has the authority and responsibility to establish standards and requirements for obtaining and maintaining a teaching certificate. KRS 161.028(1)(a).
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The Education Professional Standards Board has the authority and responsibility to establish standards and requirements for obtaining and maintaining a teaching certificate.
The EPSB may take action against a certificate for any misconduct described in KRS 161.120(1) including violations of the Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky Certified School Personnel.
a) Convictions for felonies, certain misdemeanors, and any misdemeanor involving a student;
b) Having sexual contact with a student or a minor;
c) Committing any act that constitutes fraudulent, corrupt, dishonest, or immoral conduct;
d) Demonstrating willful or careless disregard for the health, welfare, or safety of others;
e) Physical or mental incapacity that prevents the educator from performing duties with reasonable skill, competence, or safety;
f) Possessing, using, or being under the influence of alcohol, which impairs the performance of duties;
g) Unlawfully possessing or unlawfully using a drug during the performance of duties;
h) Incompetency or neglect of duty;
i) Falsifying information in an effort to obtain or renew a certificate;
j) Failing to report misconduct;
k) Failing to comply with an order of the EPSB;
l) Violating any state statute relating to schools or the teaching profession;
m) Violating the Professional Code of Ethics;
n) Violating any administrative regulation promulgated by the EPSB or KDE;or
o) Discipline from another licensing or certifying jurisdiction on grounds that constitute a violation in KentuckyMisconduct under KRS 161.120:
8. Shall not engage in any sexually related behavior with a student with or without consent, but shall maintain a professional approach with students. Sexually related behavior shall include such behaviors as sexual jokes; sexual remarks; sexual kidding or teasing; sexual innuendo; pressure for dates or sexual favors; inappropriate physical touching, kissing, grabbing; rape; threats of physical harm; and sexual assault.
6. Shall not knowingly falsify or misrepresent records of facts relating to the educator’s own qualifications or those of other professionals.
The EPSB receives complaints from a variety of sources including parents, KEA, other state agencies like OEA, CHFS, and KDE, as well as from media postings. However, the largest amount of cases are initiated from Superintendent Reports.
1) Whose contract is terminated or not renewed, for cause except failure to meet local standards for quality of teaching performance prior to the employee gaining tenure;
2) Who resigns from, or otherwise leaves, a position under threat of contract termination, or nonrenewal, for cause;
3) Who is convicted in a criminal prosecution; or
4) Who otherwise may have engaged in any actions or conduct while employed in the school district that might reasonably be expected to warrant consideration for action against the certificate.
EPSB Division of Legal Services’ Staff reviews all complaints and reports received. If the complaint or report contains credible allegations that if proven true would constitute a violation of KRS 161.120 or the Code of Ethics has occurred, a disciplinary case is initiated against the educator.
An educator is immediately notified when a disciplinary case is opened against him or her and given thirty (30) days from the day of receipt to respond to the allegations in the initial complaint or report.
Upon receipt of the rebuttal or after 30 days, which ever comes first, the case is prepared for review by the EPSB at its next regularly scheduled board meeting.
The EPSB reviews a summary of the initial complaint or report and the educator’s rebuttal in full with all identifying information redacted.
The EPSB attorney must prove the allegations occurred by a preponderance of the evidence in order for the EPSB to find a violation and sanction the educator’s certificate.
The EPSB’s earliest cases involving the internet involved inappropriate use of technology – specifically educators looking at pornography using school equipment.
If they build it, someone will figure out a way to misuse it.As technology has advanced, so has the use of technology to violate the Code of Ethics.
Superintendents and Administrators have two separate groups misbehaving on the Internet – Students and Teachers.Remember KRS 620.030 requires all citizens to report abuse, neglect, and dependency.
Technology is constantly advancing and an administrator has to stay current.
Keep up on the technological trends to stay ahead of potential abuses.