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PROFESSIONAL ETHICS. Washington County School District New Teacher Induction 2008. Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission.

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professional ethics

Washington County School District

New Teacher Induction


utah professional practices advisory commission
UtahProfessional Practices Advisory Commission

“UPPAC is charged with maintaining and promoting a high standard of professional ethics among Utah educators. It is advisory to the State Board of Education in making recommendations regarding educator licensing and may take other disciplinary action respecting educator misconduct.”

commission members
Commission Members

Other Assignments (5)

  • Ron Wolff, Morgan Superintendent
  • Rob McDaniel, Murray District Administrator
  • Patricia Hansen, Logan Principal
  • Jo Ann Nielsen, Community Member
  • Juneil Lyon, Community Member

Classroom Teachers (6)

  • Christine Heslop, Ogden
  • Nancy Parker, Salt Lake
  • Denise Pfeiffer, Jordan
  • Sheldon Robb, Duchesne
  • Amy Salyer, Washington
  • Matt Smith, Davis
professional conduct
Professional Conduct

An educator shall:

Exercise good judgment and prudence in the educator’s personal life to avoid the impairment of the educator’s professional effectiveness and respect the cultural values and standards of the community in which the educator practices.

ethical conduct
Ethical Conduct

Ethical conduct is generally outlined as the requirement of professional educators to obey the law, by demonstrating personal integrity and exemplifying honesty.

keeping the law
“Keeping the Law”

Federal laws

State laws

Utah State Board of Education rules and policies

District/Local School Board rules, policies, and procedures

Specific directives from supervisors

sexual misconduct
Sexual Misconduct

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • Kissing students
  • Sending sexually suggestive emails to students
  • Engaging in a sexual relationship with a student
  • Taking nude/suggestive photographs of students
  • Child molestation
  • Abusing a significant other’s child
  • Writing/viewing child pornography
  • Soliciting prostitutes
  • Storing pornography at school
  • Soliciting children for sexual activity via the Internet

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • Allowing students to sit on the teacher’s lap
  • Encouraging an email flirtation with a student
  • Leaving messages, gifts on a student’s car
  • Giving or accepting back rubs to/from students
  • Offering to take students to lunch off-campus as a behavior incentive
  • Giving a student keys to the educator’s apartment
  • Accepting a pornographic video from student
drugs alcohol

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • Being under the influence at school
  • Offering alcohol to students
  • Growing marijuana at home
  • Arrests for possession
  • Being under the influence on a school trip
  • Soliciting drugs from students
  • Consuming alcohol at school after hours
  • Prescription forgery/doctor shopping
  • Soliciting prescription pain killers from colleagues
  • Stealing students’ prescription medications
financial misconduct
Financial Misconduct

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • Depositing checks for student projects sold at school fundraiser in teacher’s personal account. Wrote check to the school and claimed a charitable tax deduction on personal income tax
  • Shoplifting $300 in merchandise
  • Failing to properly log driver education hours
  • Creating a student fine account without authorization
  • Embezzling funds from non-school related job
  • Submitting false requests for reimbursement to school
  • Accepting a river trip from an athletic gear vendor
gifts use of school resources
Gifts/Use of School Resources

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • Accepting a lingerie gift from a student
  • Buying roses for a student “just because”
  • Using the school gym for a church league team
  • Using school email to send parents information about the educator’s personal music lessons business
  • Telling parents athletes were required to attend a summer clinic hosted by a third party for whom the educator works
  • Using school facilities for consensual sexual activity
  • Using information from a student’s records to pursue a romantic relationship with a parent
ethical conduct14
Ethical Conduct

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • Telling students to rethink their answers to specific questions on state tests
  • Showing students the teacher’s firearm in the school parking lot
  • Telling students bi-racial couples should be sterilized
  • Using sexual innuendos in class
  • Slapping a student
  • Failing to stop students from referring to another using a derogatory term
  • Threatening to shoot colleagues
  • Discussing personal religious beliefs with students without prior written parental consent
  • Refusing to administer state tests within the testing window or encouraging students to sabotage standardized tests
integrity and honesty
Integrity and Honesty

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • Failing to disclose prior licensing action on an application
  • Failing to disclose a prior termination for cause on an application
  • Fictionalizing the applicant’s education history
  • Refusing to comply with a supervisor’s request that she follow the district dress code
  • Forging parent signatures on IEPs
  • Falsifying time records
  • Failing to report to work because she was in jail on DUI
  • Refusing to come to summer practices
  • Refusing to give students state tests
  • Publishing an inflammatory advertisement regarding a personal battle with the principal
  • Attempting to coerce a witness to the educator’s misconduct not to testify

Technology Agreement (AUP/AUA)

Appropriate use of the internet, student access, grades and confidential information.


Forward jokes, pictures, etc..

No such thing as “private e-mail” - if you do it on a school computer, it is the property of the district.

AOL, Comcast, personal internet accounts

Blogs, MySpace, Facebook, etc.

other crimes
Other Crimes

Educators have been disciplined by UPPAC for:

  • A Peeping Tom conviction
  • Entering a plea in abeyance for assault
  • Entering a Diversion Agreement for stalking
  • Refusing to provide information to DCFS investigator
  • Lewdness arrest
  • Using excessive force on a student
be cautious of
Be cautious of…

Personal Involvement with Students

Transporting students

Inviting to personal home

Meeting after hours

Your own children in the school

Work place


Verbal comments

be cautious of19
Be cautious of…

Testing Issues

Administration of tests

Making copies of tests

Cheating on student achievement by altering student scores or group scores

Other creative ways to mess-up testing

be cautious of20
Be cautious of…

Do not use or distribute illegal drugs, or

be convicted of any crime related to illegal


Do not report to work if your judgment

is impaired from the use of prescription


Do not report to work with the smell of

alcohol on your breath or a traceable level

of alcohol in your bloodstream.

be cautious of21
Be cautious of…

Religious Issues

Invitations to attend events

What you disclose to students

What to disclose to students

Would I be comfortable disclosing this in front of students’ parents?

Would I be comfortable disclosing this in front of the Principal?

NO-NOs: drugs, alcohol, personal life

the case of the amorous artiste
The Case of the Amorous Artiste
  • Mr. VanGogh, a male high school art teacher, frequently emails friends and relatives from his school computer. Occasionally he bids on ebay for antique shoes (which he collects).
  • Mr. VanGogh is spending increasing amounts of time at the school computer and, in fact, has met an interesting “friend” through an internet chat room. They exchange emails that become increasingly “romantic. Oops! The friend is a 16 year-old boy–from another state.
  • What discipline does UPPACrecommend?
the careless conversationalist
The Careless Conversationalist
  • Mr. Sowrite is an English teacher at Smart Middle School. He annually assigns students to write an autobiography for his class. He encourages students to be very forth-coming and honest; “discuss your family relationships and frustrations,” he urges his students.
  • But he is a frustrated novelist himself. He frequents the faculty room and the faculty lunch table and complains about his students–“Alex is lazy, just like his older brother.” “John has an Oedipus complex, he complains incessantly about his mother.” Fellow English teachers and the department chair have cautioned Mr. Sowrite to reconsider his assignment and to choose his words more carefully when he discusses students with his colleagues. He does not seem to listen or care! After all, teaching is a lonely profession!
  • Alex’s mom finally hears about Mr. Sowrite’s comments and complains formally to the human resource dept. in Pork City School District.
  • What should the district HR director do? What might UPPAC recommend?
the case of the teen age teacher
The Case of the “Teen-age”Teacher
  • “Toby” is a baseball coach and a science teacher at Champion Charter School. Toby tells the students to call him by his first name. He invites girls in his science classes to eat lunch in his room. He began massage therapy school before he decided on his career in education and he gives back massages at lunch in his classroom.
  • Toby sends and receives text messages from students and likes to be invited to the students’ parties on the weekends. He has a “fun” Myspace site to which he frequently refers students to get to know them better. He loves baseball and, when he receives extra Bees’ tickets, he invites students and they “hang out” together before and after the games.
  • Two colleagues have tried to discuss Toby’s relationships w/students with him; he thinks they are jealous. A parent finally sends information about Toby to UPPAC. Any concerns here?
possible actions
Possible Actions
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Revocation

Letter of Admonishment

Letter of Warning

Letter of Reprimand



NASDTEC—all states, D.C., U.S. territories, DOD, parts of Canada

Lawsuits: Personal and School liability

mandatory reporting educator abuse of students
Mandatory Reporting—Educator Abuse of Students
  • Educators are required by law to report physical or sexual abuse of students by fellow employees.
  • Every individual citizen is required to report suspected child abuse by anyone to DCFS or law enforcement. Teachers are MANDATORY reporters – this is YOUR responsibility, not your principal’s/counselors.
  • Educators are required by UPPAC rule to report suspected educator misconduct to UPPAC.
  • Law enforcement is required to report educators arrested for drug/alcohol and sex-related crimes to UPPAC.

Defense in civil/criminal court

Depending on outcome, district has a “higher” set of standards and makes a district decision.

Referral to, investigation by, and appearance before the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission (UPPAC).

Licensing action by the State Board of Education.




Amy Salyer, UPPAC Member


Carol Lear, UPPAC Executive Secretary

Jean Hill, UPPAC Investigator/Prosecutor