All illustrations used in this presentation are from cases investigated by the Ethics Staff of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
Abuse The educator kicked a students chair, pushed him to the floor, threw a book and yard stick in his direction, threw him down to the floor, and sat on top of him. The student escaped out the window and ran to the principal's office. He stated that the educator had knocked out his tooth. The principal found the missing tooth on the floor.
If at first you dont succeed… The educator admits that she threw a shoe at a student two times. The second time, the shoe hit the student in the nose and upper lip. The student, his sister, and two witnesses said that his nose bled. The educator admits that it was a stupid thing to do.
Gang Discipline? The teacher instructed several male students to go into a storage room with students who were not behaving, turn off the lights and "jump" on them and hit them with belts.
Cruel The educator hit a student on the head because he colored outside the lines, hit another student with a ruler and pulled his mat from beneath him because he did not get up from his nap quickly enough, struck a student in the head with a shoe and on the arm with a ruler, and crossed a student's arms in front of him and pull them behind his back until the child began to cry.
Older Women The educator engaged in sexual misconduct with a male student that she taught in the sixth grade the previous year. The relationship involved telephone, text messaging, e-mail and internet contacts, and the student and the educator engaging in sexual activity.
High School Band Director The educator engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15 year-old female student in the band room of the high school. A used condom, was retrieved from the incident location.
High School Band Director The educator acknowledged that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16 year-old female student. They exchanged of notes and nude pictures and had physical contact, including the act of masturbation.
Sexual Harassment The Starting Point for Sexual Abuse
Three Forms of Educator Sexual Harassment Physical : fondling, touching or sexual abusePhysical : fondling, touching or sexual abuse
I Need a Hug The educator asked a student to stay in the classroom when class ended, locked the door, and embraced and kissed her.
The educator kissed and hugged students and touched their hips, buttocks and breasts. He requested that a female student meet with him before school and told her to wear a thong or no underwear because he needed to check her body. Anatomy Class?
Three Forms of Educator Sexual Harassment Physical: fondling, touching or sexual abusePhysical: fondling, touching or sexual abuse Verbal : commenting on a student's body parts or making sexually explicit jokesVerbal : commenting on a student's body parts or making sexually explicit jokes
One of the Gang The Educator talked with students about men (including a relationship with a married man), gave students backrubs and massages, and sent a picture of male genitals to students via cell phone.
Digital Communicator The Educator sent approximately 400 text messages to a female student over a 57-day period at all hours of the day and night. The messages appear to solicit and encourage an inappropriate relationship. After being directed not to have any additional communications with the student, the educator texted her on her birthday and graduation day.
Texting Principal The Principal engaged in inappropriate communications with two female students, including hundreds of text messages in a 2-month time period. The text messages contained discussions of alcohol, drugs, and sex.
Three Forms of Educator Sexual Harassment Physical: fondling, touching or sexual abusePhysical: fondling, touching or sexual abuse Verbal: commenting on a student's body parts or making sexually explicit jokesVerbal: commenting on a student's body parts or making sexually explicit jokes Visual : showing sexually explicit photographs, or exposing one's genitalsVisual : showing sexually explicit photographs, or exposing one's genitals
A Picture is Worth… The educator asked a female student to take nude pictures of herself and show them to him.
The educator accidentally made and emailed a picture of his penis to a female student. Show Off
Three Ways Educators Troll for Students with Weak Boundaries Physical Sexual Harassment fondling, touching or sexual abusePhysical Sexual Harassment fondling, touching or sexual abuse Verbal Sexual Harassment commenting on a student's body parts or making sexually explicit jokesVerbal Sexual Harassment commenting on a student's body parts or making sexually explicit jokes Visual Sexual Harassment showing sexually explicit photographs, or exposing one's genitalsVisual Sexual Harassment showing sexually explicit photographs, or exposing one's genitals
Young people instinctively recognize these boundary violations and often nickname the employee engaged in such violations apervert, based on their perceived sense of inappropriateness. Mary Jo McGrath
Grooming The Next Step Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Mary Jo McGrath Sex offenders groom victims with gifts and attention, lull them into complacency, and escalate the level of physical intimacy over time. Grooming
Grooming 101 The educator permitted students to skip their scheduled classes, hang out in his classroom, use his school computer to access internet sites, and provided them with notes to justify being out of their scheduled classes. A 17-year-old female student alleged that the educator touched her in a sexual manner, exposed himself, and asked her to perform oral sex on him.
Grooming 102 A female student reported that the educator: gave her the answer key to a final exam, gave her the answer key to a final exam, allowed her to grade other students papers, allowed her to grade other students papers, touched her breast, and touched her breast, and gave her a note telling her u owe me. gave her a note telling her u owe me. gave her high grades though she never did any work in his class. gave her high grades though she never did any work in his class.
Hes In Love With The Girl The educator had a romantic relationship with a student. He attended the students athletic events ( with roses ), bought her a cell phone, and took gifts for the student to her school. They were text messaging and talking on the phone extensively, and the educator emailed the student a seven page love letter/story.
Furnishing or Allowing a Student to use Alcohol, Illegal Drugs or Unauthorized Drugs
Liquors Quicker The Educator provided alcohol to four minor females and engaged in sex with one of them.
Students, Alcohol and Sex The educator admits that she was at home and did not supervise a party at her house that students attended. Alcoholic beverages were openly consumed and marijuana was smoked at the party. A 17 year-old female was sexually assaulted at the party.
Avoiding Allegations of Inappropriate Relationships
Be Friendly, Not a Friend. Student Relationship Guidelines
Present a Professional Image Student Relationship Guidelines
Dont touch students in ways a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate. Student Relationship Guidelines
Social Networking Dont accept students as friends and decline any student initiated social network friend requests. Student Relationship Guidelines Dont post anything on a website that you would not post on the front door of the school.
A educator should never possess, use, or be under the influence of illegal drugs.
Avoiding Pain A coworker videotaped the educator stealing pain medication from her purse. The educator initially denied the theft. When confronted with the evidence, the educator admitted to the theft of the drug and to ingesting the prescribed medication at school.
The educator was arrested for trafficking marijuana. Fifty pounds of marijuana was found in the educator's home. The home "reeked" of the smell of smoked and fresh marijuana. Three children were in the home at the time of the arrest. Second Job
The educator fell asleep in class and failed to supervise two of his students engaging in oral sex during class time. On a required drug test the educator tested positive for cocaine. Laid Back Educator
An educator shall refrain from the use of alcohol during the course of professional practice.
Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to being on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students while under the influence of, possessing, or consuming alcoholic beverages.
Georgia's Legal Definitions for "NOT Under the Influence" If there was a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams or less, it shall be presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-392Driving O.C.G.A. § 52-7-12. Operation of Watercraft O.C.G.A. § 27-3-7Hunting
Possession of Alcohol Possession of a CONTAINER of alcoholic beverage (not in the blood stream). DO NOT DISCARD the evidence!
Under the Influence? The educator tested positive (.034) for alcohol while on the premises of the school during school hours. He admits drinking late the night before and that he probably did smell like alcohol, but maintains he was not under the influence.
When in Italy… The educator served as a chaperone on a school-sponsored trip to Italy. He admitted that he consumed one alcoholic beverage after hours on three nights of the eight-day trip. The educator acknowledged that he had made a mistake by consuming the alcoholic beverages, but denied that he failed to properly supervise students during the trip.
Fortification The educator admits consuming two glasses of wine prior to attending a school talent show. She exhibited manifestations of intoxication including glassy red eyes, slightly slurred speech, generally giddy behavior and the odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person.
An educator shall exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice.
Honesty Violations Falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting: professional qualifications; professional qualifications; criminal history; criminal history; college or staff development credit; college or staff development credit; employment history; employment history; information submitted to governmental agencies; information submitted to governmental agencies;
Honesty Violations information regarding the evaluation of students or personnel; information regarding the evaluation of students or personnel; reasons for absences or leaves; reasons for absences or leaves; information submitted in the course of an official inquiry; and information submitted in the course of an official inquiry; and information submitted in the course of professional practice. information submitted in the course of professional practice. Falsifying, misrepresenting, or omitting:
Paperwork The educator fabricated IEP paperwork by cutting signatures from other documents and pasting the signatures on the fabricated paperwork.
Teach Your Children Well The educator, a school principal, corrected the answers on student CRCT answer sheets prior to submitting them for scoring.
Liar The educator claimed sick leave for a preplanned golf trip. He lied to administrators when questioned about the reason for his absence.
An educator entrusted with public funds and property shall honor that trust with a high level of honesty, accuracy, and responsibility.
The educator converted money that was intended for students to be used for her own purposes. She pled guilty to Conspiracy & Conspiracy to Money Launder involving approximately $600,000 of education funds. Former State School Superintendent
Starting His Own Business The educator forged the superintendents signature to purchase unauthorized equipment to further his private business. The production and distribution of pornography!
Good Use of Time? The educator used her school system computer to access dating and singles websites soliciting relationships with men during instructional time and CRCT test administration. This included arranging meetings for the purpose of having sex.
The educator used his school system computer and email to view pornography and to contract for the services of prostitutes. His school system computer was found to contain nude photographs and email solicitations to various escorts. Desperate
The educator used his school system computer and cell phone to solicit a sexual relationship with someone that he believed to be a 14 or 15 year-old female. She was, in reality, a law enforcement officer. Pornography was discovered during a search of his school system office and computer. Superintendent
The DOE Academic Coach Program Manager authorized payment of funds to employ her relatives, to fund unallowable expenditures for herself and a subordinate DOE employee, and to further her pursuit of a doctorate degree. Your Tax Dollars at Work
An educator shall maintain integrity with students, colleagues, parents, and the business community when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional compensation.
Remunerative Conduct Violations soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator, soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator, participating in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local board of education/governing board or authorized designee; participating in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local board of education/governing board or authorized designee;
Remunerative Conduct Violations accepting gifts from vendors or potential vendors for personal use or gain where there may be the appearance of a conflict of interest; accepting gifts from vendors or potential vendors for personal use or gain where there may be the appearance of a conflict of interest; tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local board of education, governing board or their authorized designee; and tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local board of education, governing board or their authorized designee; and
Remunerative Conduct Violations coaching, instructing, promoting athletic camps, summer leagues, etc. that involves students in an educators school system and from whom the educator receives remuneration unless approved by the local board of education, governing board or their authorized designee. coaching, instructing, promoting athletic camps, summer leagues, etc. that involves students in an educators school system and from whom the educator receives remuneration unless approved by the local board of education, governing board or their authorized designee.
The Coach used school funds to open multiple bank accounts without the school's knowledge. Numerous checks totaling in the thousands of dollars were written to "cash" or to the Educator. This left the school over $27,000 in debt. Greedy Coach
Free Child Care The educator enrolled her daughter in kindergarten though the child was not old enough to attend. The State paid the school system for the student who was not legally eligible to be enrolled. As a matter of course, the student was moved on to first grade. Again, she was below the legally prescribed age for being enrolled in first grade.
An educator shall abide by federal, state, and local laws and statutes.
Criminal Convictions The commission is authorized to investigate complaints alleging that an educator has been convicted of any: felony,felony, crime involving moral turpitude,crime involving moral turpitude, drug offense,drug offense, sexual offense.sexual offense.
Conviction includes a: finding or verdict of guilty;finding or verdict of guilty; plea of nolo contendere;plea of nolo contendere; first offender treatment;first offender treatment; a situation where an adjudication of guilt or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge or the charge was otherwise disposed of in a similar manner.a situation where an adjudication of guilt or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge or the charge was otherwise disposed of in a similar manner.
An educator shall comply with state and federal laws and state school board policies relating to the confidentiality of student and personnel records, standardized test material, and other information.
What is Confidential Information? Annual performance evaluation records of school personnel Annual performance evaluation records of school personnel Health services records Health services records Identifiable individual student records, performance data, and reports Identifiable individual student records, performance data, and reports School records of students with disabilities School records of students with disabilities
Posting questions from a standardized test on the webPosting questions from a standardized test on the web Created study guide using standardized test materialsCreated study guide using standardized test materials Left test material in an unsecure locationLeft test material in an unsecure location Released personnel file information without proper authorizationReleased personnel file information without proper authorization Confidential Information Cases
An educator shall file reports of a breach of one or more of the standards in the Code of Ethics for Educators, child abuse, or any other required report.
O.C.G.A. § 19-7-5 Child abuseChild abuse includes the following conduct by a childs parent or caretaker: Physical injury or death Physical injury or death (by other than accidental means) Neglect or exploitation of a child Neglect or exploitation of a child Sexual abuse Sexual abuse - an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification... Sexual exploitation Sexual exploitation - allows, permits, encourages, or requires a child to engage in prostitution or sexually explicit conduct ….
The educator failed to report sexual misconduct by a teacher. She had been informed that a female student was regularly meeting the male teacher in his classroom during lunch and that they were often seen in close proximity. After the teacher was arrested and charged with four counts of Sexual Assault, she confirmed that there were rumors about the male teacher and female students. Former School Principal
Failure to Secure Evidence The educator, a high school assistant principal, was advised that a student had a video on his cell phone of a female student performing a sexual act on a male student. The educator viewed this video on two separate occasions, but failed to confiscate the cell phone. She returned the phone to the student and told him to erase the video. He didnt.
An educator shall demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards and preserves the dignity and integrity of the teaching profession.
Organized a betting pool with studentsOrganized a betting pool with students Called a student a heifer and her mother stupidCalled a student a heifer and her mother stupid Gave extra credit to students who contributed to a fundraiserGave extra credit to students who contributed to a fundraiser Left class without permission via a windowLeft class without permission via a window Had two loaded guns in desk drawerHad two loaded guns in desk drawer Sexually harassed a colleagueSexually harassed a colleague Restrained a teacher and tried to kiss her against her willRestrained a teacher and tried to kiss her against her will Sexual interaction with colleague on school groundsSexual interaction with colleague on school grounds Professional Conduct Cases
Establish and control the boundaries in your professional relationships.
We judge ourselves by our best intentions and most noble acts, but we're judged by our last worst act. Michael Josephson