Georgia Professional Standards Commission The Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators 2013-2014
Professional Standards Commission Certification Educator Preparation Ethics
20-2-984.1. Adoption of a Code of Ethics. It shall be the duty of the commission to adoptstandards of performance and a code of ethics for educators…which are generally accepted by educators of this state.
Code of Ethics Code of “Common Sense”
20-2-984.1. Adoption of a Code of Ethics. The standards of performance and code of ethics adopted by the commission shall be limited to professional performance and professional ethics. The PSC does not care what you do in you personal lives as long as it does not carryover into your professional lives.
Definition of Educator 20-2-982.1.(2)"Educator"means education personnel who hold, have applied for, or been denied certificates, permits, or other certification documents issued by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
Legal Compliance Standard 1
Standard 1 An educator shall abide by federal, state, and local laws and statutes.
Legal Compliance Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to the commission or conviction of: a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude. any criminal offense involving a controlled substance or marijuana. any sexual offense specified in Code Section 16. any laws applicable to the profession.
Standard #1 Legal Compliance • The Educator admits to being arrested for theft by shoplifting. The Educator was sentenced to 6 months probation, a fine, and 40 hours of community service. • Suspended
Standard #1 Legal Compliance • Educator was arrested and charged with writing bad checks. She entered a guilty plea, forfeited a cash bond, and paid her fine. • Reprimand
Standard #1 Legal Compliance • Five marijuana plants and a small amount of processed marijuana were located at the Educator’s home and vehicle. The Educator was subsequently charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The Educator entered a plea of not guilty. The criminal case is still pending. • Suspension
Standard 2 An educator shall always maintain a professional relationship with all students, both in and outside the classroom.
OR, a student enrolled in grades Pre-K to 12 in a public or private school.
For the purposes of the Code of Ethics, the enrollment period for a graduating student ends on August 31 of the year of graduation.
Revocation Sexual Abuse of Students
Young people instinctively recognize these boundary violations and often nickname the employee engaged in such violations a “pervert,” based on their perceived sense of inappropriateness. Mary Jo McGrath
Sexual Relationship with Students • O. C.G. A.--16-6-5.1 • Person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over a student who engages in sexual contact with students… • New thing in Georgia
16-6-5.1 • Jail time • Age 16-not less than one year nor more than 25 years in jail or a fine not to exceed $100,000 or both • Under the age of 16-not less than 25 years nor more than 50 years in jail
20-2-751.7 (a) • The PSC shall establish a state mandated process for students to follow in reporting instances of alleged inappropriate behavior by a teacher, administrator or any other school employee • Shall include these processes in the student handbook and in employee handbook • Any teacher, counselor, or administrator receiving a report or sexual misconduct shall submit a written report in 24 hours
Standard #2 Conduct With Students • The Educator was employed as an elementary school teacher. It was reported that she was dating a student who was in high school. At age 18 the student dropped out of high school, proposed to the teacher, and married her. • Revoke
Standard #2 Conduct With Students • Witnesses from faculty reported that student frequently visits Educator’s classroom before and after school. Educator’s husband found a phone that contained messages expressing love as well as sexual desires. Examination of phone records revealed more than 1700 text messages and 141 phone calls in a period of 26 days. Both denied being romantically involved. • Revoked
Social Networking • Use Facebook, Twitter, and other communications on a professional level • Notify administration of your plans and always copy them • Should student communicate inappropriately, notify your supervisor immediately
Student Relationship Guidelines E-mail Phone Calls Be Friendly, Not a Friend. Gossip Parties Inappropriate Jokes Photographs
Choose Appropriate Settings Student Relationship Guidelines Home Auto Closet Dark Room
Alcohol or Drugs Standard 3
Standard 3 An educator shall refrain from the use of alcohol or illegal or unauthorized drugs during the course of professional practice.
Drugs Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: being on school premises or at a school-related activity while under the influence of, possessing, using, or consuming illegal or unauthorized drugs;
Illegal and Unauthorized Drugsare Always Illegal and Unauthorized.
Standard #3 Drugs and Alcohol • The school was placed on lock down during an unannounced law enforcement search of the school premises. The principal observed an Educator out of class in the faculty parking lot throwing an object over the fence. A sheriff’s deputy retrieved the object-a glass pipe and found a small amount of marijuana in Educator’s car. • Suspension
Standard #3 Drugs and Alcohol • During a school day, two students reported to the SRO they smelled alcohol on the Educator’s breath. Educator told principal she had alcohol the night before. The principal drove Educator to medical testing facility where she took a breathalyzer and registered .13 and the confirmation test read .12 • Suspension
Alcohol Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: being on school premises or at a school-related activityinvolving students while under the influence of, possessing, or consuming alcoholic beverages.
20-2-984.1. The … code of ethics …shall be limited toprofessional performance and professional ethics.
Honesty Standard 4
Standard 4 An educator shall exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice.
Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: professional qualifications, criminal history, college or staff development credit and/or degrees, academic award, and employment history;
Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to, falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: information submitted to federal, state, local school districts and other governmental agencies;
Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to, falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: 3. information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel;
Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to,falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: reasons for absences or leaves;
Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to,falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: 5. information submitted in the course of an official inquiry/investigation; and
Honesty Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to,falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: 6. information submitted in the course of professional practice.
Standard #4 Honesty • The Case Manager prepared and laid out two student IEP meeting participant signature pages on a table and invited Educators to come by and sign without an IEP meeting held for either student. Both student IEP meeting invitations listed the same date, time, and location. • Case Manager-suspended • Teachers signing IEP-suspended
Standard #4 Honesty • The Educator signed her principal’s name to a chorus registration form without his permission and faxed the form to the registration office for a state competition. • Suspension
Public Funds & Property Standard 5
Standard 5 An educator entrusted with public funds and property shall honor that trust with a high level of honesty, accuracy, and responsibility.
Public Funds & Property Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: misusing public or school-related funds; failing to account for funds collected from students or parents; submitting fraudulent requests or documentation for reimbursement of expenses or for pay; co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts; and using school property without the approval of the local board of education/governing board or authorized designee.