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 Summarize & reflect (500 words) on the 10 standards of MS Code of Ethics. 

 must be typed in 12 pt font, double spaced using college-level diction and grammar. 

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Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics

EDUCATOR AND PRE-SERVICE TRAINING

Office of Teaching and Leading

Divisions of Educator Preparation, Educator Licensure, and Educator Effectiveness

Purpose for Code of Ethics

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To promote students’ and educators’:

Health

Safety

Welfare

Discipline and morals

In accordance with the rules established by the Mississippi State Board of Education, the Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics/Standards of Conduct protect the health, safety and general welfare of students and educators. It addresses ethical conduct, which promotes the health, safety, welfare, discipline and morals of students and colleagues.

Unethical conduct is any conduct that impairs the license holder’s ability to function in his/her employment position or a pattern of behavior that is detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, discipline, or morals of students and colleagues.

Any educator or administrator license may be revoked or suspended for engaging in unethical conduct relating to an educator/student relationship (Standard 4). Superintendents shall report to the Mississippi Department of Education license holders who engage in unethical conduct relating to an educator/student relationship (Standard 4).

Purpose for Training

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“Ethics training is an important part of the

To ensure administrators and teachers are prepared to make professional decisions, this training:

Provides educators with a case study on poor ethical choices

Displays extreme behaviors that are not tolerated by educational professionals

“Ethics training is an important part of the process of educating administrators and teachers to ensure they are adequately prepared to make professional decisions” (Beck & Murphy; Hutchings, as cited in Davenport, Thompson, & Templeton, 2015).

The module is for educator training purposes only.  “Ethics training is an important part of the process of educating administrators and teachers to ensure they are adequately prepared to make professional decisions” (Beck & Murphy; Hutchings, as cited in Davenport, Thompson, & Templeton, 2015).

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) takes ethical violations very seriously! To provide educators with a case study on poor ethical choices, the MDE developed this training module to display behaviors that are not tolerated as an education professional.

Reporting of Code Violations

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Mississippi Department of Education 359 North West Street  Jackson, MS 39201 

Office of Educator Misconduct  601-359-2742 Main number

www.mde.k12.ms.us

All code violations should be reported to the Office of Educator Misconduct.

Training Overview

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Provides examples of violations of each Standard

Uses characters, locations and situations that are purely fictional.

Shows the progression and development of the violation and the consequences of making poor choices

Includes scenarios and questions after the discussion of each standard.

The training provides examples of violations of each Standard. All characters, locations and situations are purely fictional. Any similarities to anyone living or deceased are merely a coincidence. This scenarios in this presentation are not intended to portray any actual school, students, or personnel in Mississippi. In each example, you should see the progression and development of the violation and the consequences of making poor choices including loss of teaching credentials, and in some instances jail time.

The training includes scenarios and questions after the presentation of each standard. A minimum score of 80% for correctly answered questions is required to receive credit for the course.

Professional Conduct

Standard 1

An educator should demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards.

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Standard 1: Professional conduct–An educator should demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards.

Standard 1: Professional Conduct Overview

Professional educator responsibilities include:

Exemplifying high standards

Abstaining from discrimination

Collaborating with other professionals

Maintaining positive relationships with colleagues

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“Since educators hold important positions requiring a high level of public trust and responsibility in working with children, educators are expected to observe high standards of moral and ethical conduct” (Umpstead, Brady, Lugg, Klinker, & Thompson, 2013, p. 184).

Standard 1 discusses the professional responsibilities of an educator. Since educators hold important positions requiring a high level of public trust and responsibility in working with children, educators are expected to observe high standards of moral and ethical conduct (Umpstead, Brady, Lugg, Klinker, & Thompson, 2013, p. 184).

This prohibits discrimination and promotes collaboration with other professionals and maintenance of positive relationships with colleagues, which will be discussed in the next slides.

Standard 1: Professional Conduct- Ethical Conduct

1.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Maintaining high standards

Respecting fellow educators

Learning collaboratively to promote student learning

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d) Providing professional education services in a nondiscriminatory manner

Maintaining competence

Maintaining a professional relationship with parents

Standard 1 discusses the professional responsibilities of an educator. Since educators hold important positions requiring a high level of public trust and responsibility in working with children, educators are expected to observe high standards of moral and ethical conduct (Umpstead, Brady, Lugg, Klinker, & Thompson, 2013, p. 184).

This prohibits discrimination and promotes collaboration with other professionals and maintenance of positive relationships with colleagues.

Under standard 1.1. — Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Encouraging and supporting colleagues in developing and maintaining high standards in front of students

b. Respecting fellow educators and participating in the development of a professional teaching environment

c. Engaging in a variety of individual and collaborative learning experiences essential to professional development designed to promote student learning

d.  Providing professional education services in a nondiscriminatory manner

e.  Maintaining competence regarding skills, knowledge, and dispositions relating to his/her organizational position, subject matter and pedagogical practices

f. Maintaining a professional relationship with parents of students and establishing appropriate communications related to the welfare of their children.

Standard 1: Professional Conduct- Unethical Conduct

1.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Harassment of colleagues

Misuse or mismanagement of tests or test materials

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Inappropriate language

Physical altercations

Failure to provide appropriate student supervision

Under standard 1.2.– Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a.  Harassment of colleagues

b.  Misuse or mismanagement of tests or test materials

c.  Inappropriate language on school grounds or any school-related activity

d.  Physical altercations

e.  Failure to provide appropriate supervision of students and reasonable disciplinary actions.

Standard 1: Professional Conduct- Ethical Conduct

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Scenario 1: Mrs. Dixon has been teaching 6th grade English for several years and is very active in the community and her local church.  Recently, a student from another country moved to the area and was placed in her class.  Mrs. Dixon disapproves of the student’s religious practices.  She places him in the back of the classroom and often isolates him.  She never calls on him during instruction nor does she provide additional learning opportunities.

Which of the Standard 1 ethical conduct examples does Mrs. Dixon’s behavior violate?

Respecting fellow educators and participating in the development of a professional teaching environment

Engaging in a variety of individual and collaborative learning experiences to promote student learning

Providing professional education services in a nondiscriminatory manner

Maintaining competence regarding skills, knowledge, and dispositions relating to his/her organizational position, subject matter and pedagogical practices

Let’s check your understanding of Standard 1. We will read and answer Scenario 1 together. Then, you will complete the Standard 1 assessment questions.

Standard 1: Professional Conduct- Unethical Conduct

Assessment Q1: Mr. Jackson has taught 8th grade math for 10 years at Eastover Middle School.  For the first 7 years, he had the highest scores in 8th grade math on the state assessment.  He has been concerned about declining scores for the last 3 years and wants to see exactly what types of questions students see on the state assessment.  While proctoring the state assessment, he snaps a few pictures of a student’s screen while she is taking the 8th grade math assessment. 

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Mr. Jackson’s behavior describes which component of Standard 1 Unethical Conduct?

Harassment of colleagues

Misuse or mismanagement of tests or test materials

Inappropriate language on school grounds or any school-related activity

Physical altercations

Standard 1: Professional Conduct- Unethical Conduct

Assessment Q2: Coach Richard has been the football coach at Highland High School for years. His team won the state championship last year.  Coach Richard believes his success is attributed to the hard work and coaching tactics he learned from his former coach. The principal visits one of Coach Richard’s practices and overhears him using profanity excessively toward the coaching staff and students. 

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Coach Richard’s behavior describes which component of Standard 1 Unethical Conduct?

Harassment of colleagues

Misuse or mismanagement of tests or test materials

Inappropriate language on school grounds or any school-related activity

Failure to provide appropriate supervision of students and reasonable disciplinary actions.

Standard 1: Professional Conduct- Unethical Conduct

Assessment Q3: Mrs. Johnson is a first year 4th grade teacher at Greene Elementary School.  The copy machine was being used by another teacher after school yesterday, which prevented her from making copies for the unit assessment.  It’s 8 AM, and her students are entering the room.  Mrs. Johnson runs to the teacher’s lounge to make copies. The principal passes Mrs. Johnson’s room and notices the students in the room alone.  

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Mrs. Johnson’s behavior describes which component of Standard 1 Unethical Conduct?

Harassment of colleagues

Misuse or mismanagement of tests or test materials

Inappropriate language on school grounds or any school-related activity

Failure to provide appropriate supervision of students and reasonable disciplinary actions.

Trustworthiness

Standard 2

An educator should exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice.

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Standard 2: Trustworthiness–An educator should exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice and does not knowingly engage in deceptive practices regarding official policies of the school district or educational institution.

Standard 2: Trustworthiness Overview

Educators should be honest in all of his/her actions, including but not limited to:

Providing truthful information concerning credentials, background information, employment, etc.

Evaluating students or personnel

Providing leave time, reasons for job absences, and educational content matter 

Participating in any type of investigation 

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The educator must be honest and exemplify integrity in all of his/her actions.

The educator should not knowingly deceive any school district, the state department of education, or any educational institution related to information concerning credentials, background information, employment, etc. 

Educators should also be honest when evaluating students or personnel.  Grades and scores should reflect the actual effort given without inflation or unfair grading practices. 

It is unlawful to be dishonest about leave time, reasons for job absences, and educational content matter. 

Educators should also be honest when required to participate in any type of investigation.

Standard 2: Trustworthiness- Ethical Conduct

2.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Properly representing facts concerning an educational matter

Advocating for fair and equitable opportunities for all children

Embodying for students the characteristics of honesty, diplomacy, tact, and fairness.

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Under standard 2.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Properly representing facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression

b. Advocating for fair and equitable opportunities for all children

c. Embodying for students the characteristics of honesty, diplomacy, tact, and fairness.

Standard 2: Trustworthiness- Unethical Conduct

2.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting, or erroneously reporting any of the following:

employment history, professional qualifications, criminal history, certification/recertification

information submitted to local, state, federal, and/or other governmental agencies

information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel

reasons for absences or leave

information submitted in the course of an official inquiry or investigation

b. Falsifying records or directing or coercing others to do so

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Under standard 2.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting, or erroneously reporting any of the following:

1. employment history, professional qualifications, criminal history, certification/recertification

2. information submitted to local, state, federal, and/or other governmental agencies

3. information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel

4. reasons for absences or leave

5. information submitted in the course of an official inquiry or investigation

b. Falsifying records or directing or coercing others to do so.

Standard 2: Trustworthiness- Ethical Conduct

Scenario 2: Brently Middle School holds an annual reading contest.  The homeroom class that reads the most books receives a free field trip to the Mississippi Children’s and Natural Science Museums.  After a student reads a book, he/she completes a book report and turns it in to the homeroom teacher.  Each teacher turns in the book reports to the librarian for tallying and determining the winner.  With hopes her class will win, Mrs. Creedmore tells her students they really don’t have to read the books. She instructs them to copy the book cover summary and submit it so their class can win the free field trip.  

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Which of the Standard 2 ethical conduct examples does Mrs. Creedmore’s behavior violate?

Properly representing facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect

public expression

b) Advocating for fair and equitable opportunities for all children

c) Embodying for students the characteristics of honesty, diplomacy, tact,

and fairness.

Let’s check your understanding of Standard 2. We will read and answer Scenario 2 together. Then, you will complete the Standard 2 assessment questions.

Standard 2: Trustworthiness- Unethical Conduct

Assessment Q1: Dr. Hardy’s educator’s license expires on June 30th of this school year.  He did not complete the appropriate amount of continuing education units (CEUs) to renew his license.  His wife is also a teacher.  She completed several workshops over the past year.  Dr. Hardy decides he will alter some of his wife’s workshop certificates and submit them as his credentials to get his license renewed.

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Dr. Hardy’s behavior describes which component of Standard 2 Unethical Conduct?

Falsifying employment history, professional qualifications, criminal history, certification/recertification

Falsifying information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel

Falsifying reasons for absences or leave

Falsifying records or directing/coercing others to do so.

Standard 2: Trustworthiness- Unethical Conduct

Assessment Q2: Ms. Cobb has been having a challenging year. She teaches Algebra I and II at Terrace High School and has used all of her personal days for the year.  She wants to take a week long vacation to get a break from her students.  Her best friend Ann is a doctor.  She asks Ann to write her a doctor’s excuse “saying” that she has the flu and recommends she takes one week of medical leave. Ann writes her the excuse, and Ms. Cobb submits it to her school.

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Ms. Cobb’s behavior describes which component of Standard 2 Unethical Conduct?

Falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting, or erroneously reporting any of the following:

1. employment history, professional qualifications, criminal history, certification/recertification

2. information submitted to local, state, federal, and/or other governmental agencies

3. information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel

4. reasons for absences or leave

Standard 2: Trustworthiness- Unethical Conduct

Assessment Q3: Mr. Haynes is the principal of Southland High School.  His son Jason attends the school.  Last year, Jason took Mrs. Smith for English III.  Despite Mrs. Smith’s interventions and efforts, Jason did not pass English III and had to attend summer school.  Mr. Haynes was not happy about his son failing the class and felt that Mrs. Smith should have passed him.  Because she failed his son, Mr. Haynes gives Mrs. Smith very low ratings on the Mississippi Professional Growth System despite her being an effective teacher and having good observations throughout the year.

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Mr. Hand’s behavior describes which component of Standard 2 Unethical Conduct?

Falsifying…employment history, professional qualifications, criminal history, certification/recertification

Falsifying…information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel

Falsifying…reasons for absences or leave

Falsifying records or directing/coercing others to do so.

Unlawful Acts

Standard 3

An educator shall abide by federal, state, and local laws and statutes and local school board policies.

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Standard 3: Unlawful Acts–An educator shall abide by federal, state, and local laws and statutes and local school board policies.

Standard 3: Unlawful Acts Overview

Standard 3 encompasses the adherence to all laws, which includes federal, state, local, and policies implemented by the local school Board of Education.

The educator should be an upstanding, law abiding citizen. 

The Educator Code of Ethics operates in conjunction with all other federal, state and local laws and policies.

“In many states, codes of ethics are tied to discipline systems because educational professionals are legally obligated to the care to the children they oversee and instruct. This legal duty can be enforced directly by government bodies” (Umpstead, Brady, Lugg, Klinker, & Thompson, 2013, p. 187).

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Standard 3 encompasses the adherence to all laws, which includes federal, state, local, and policies implemented by the local school board of education.

The educator should be an upstanding, law abiding citizen who does not willfully commit crimes.  “In many states, codes of ethics are tied to discipline systems because educational professionals are legally obligated to the care to the children they oversee and instruct. This legal duty can be enforced directly by government bodies” (Umpstead, Brady, Lugg, Klinker, & Thompson, 2013, p. 187).

The Educator Code of Ethics operates in inclusion of all other federal, state and local laws and policies.

Standard 3: Unlawful Acts – Unethical conduct

Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to:

the commission or conviction of a felony or sexual offense

conviction includes a finding or verdict of guilty, or a plea of no contest (admitting no guilt for the crime)

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Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to:

The commission or conviction of a felony or sexual offense.

Conviction includes a finding or guilty verdict, or a plea of no contest, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought or situation where first offender treatment without judgment of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted.

Standard 3: Unlawful Acts- Unethical conduct

Scenario 3: Mr. Gibson was convicted of a felony for assaulting his girlfriend last spring. Is a felony conviction considered unethical behavior for an educator?

Yes

No

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Now apply your understanding of Standard 3. Read the scenario 3 and answer the question that follows.

Educator/Student Relationships

Standard 4

An educator should always maintain a professional relationship with all students, both in and outside the classroom.

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Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships–An educator should always maintain a professional relationship with all students, both in and outside the classroom.

Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships Overview

Standard 4 violations are considered the most serious ethical infractions.

Any Standard 4 suspected violation must be reported to MDE within10 days.

Any educator or administrator license may be revoked or suspended for violating Standard 4.

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Educators should use positions of authority to ensure the safety of all students.

Educators should never take advantage of or coerce students into inappropriate relationships and/or sexual acts.

“By the nature of the role, a teacher has inherent authority over a student, and as such, a sexual interaction between a teacher and a student represents a violation of boundaries” (Fromuth & Holt, 2008, p. 165).

Standard 4 violation is often considered the most serious of the ethical infractions. The school district should report any Standard 4 suspected violation directly to the Mississippi Department of Education –Office of Educator Misconduct within 10 days of receipt of the information. 

Educators should pay close attention to what is considered ethical and unethical conduct listed in Standard 4.  Any educator or administrator license may be revoked or suspended for engaging in unethical conduct relating to an educator/student relationship. 

Unfortunately, the education profession is riddled with educators who consistently make the egregious decision to violate this serious standard.  This violation not only has negative and lasting repercussions for the educator, but also for the students involved and their families. “By the nature of the role, a teacher has inherent authority over a student, and as such, a sexual interaction between a teacher and a student represents a violation of boundaries” (Fromuth & Holt, 2008, p. 165).   It is imperative that the educator uses his/her position of authority with prudence to ensure the safety of all students and never to take advantage of /or coerce students into engaging in inappropriate relationships and/or sexual acts.

Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships Ethical Conduct

4.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Fulfilling the roles of mentor and advocate for students

Nurturing the intellectual, physical, emotional, social and civic potential of all students

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Providing an environment void of unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement

Creating, supporting, and maintaining a challenging learning environment

Under ethical standard 4.1. –Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Fulfilling the roles of mentor and advocate for students in a professional relationship. A professional relationship is one in which the educator maintains a position of teacher/student authority, while expressing concern, empathy, and encouragement for students.

b. Nurturing the intellectual, physical, emotional, social and civic potential of all students

c. Providing an environment that does not needlessly expose students to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement

d. Creating, supporting, and maintaining a challenging learning environment for all students.

Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships Unethical Conduct

4.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:

Committing any act of child abuse

Committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment

Committing or soliciting any unlawful sexual act

Engaging in harassing behavior on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion or disability

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Furnishing tobacco, alcohol, or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student

Soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriately written, verbal, electronic, physical or romantic relationship with students.

Under ethical standard 4.2. –Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:

a. Committing any act of child abuse

b. Committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment

c. Committing or soliciting any unlawful sexual act

d. Engaging in harassing behavior on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion or disability

e. Furnishing tobacco, alcohol, or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student or allowing consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs

f. Soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriately written, verbal, electronic, physical or romantic relationship with students.

Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships Unethical Conduct

Examples of these acts may include but not be limited to:

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1. sexual jokes8. threats of physical harm
2. sexual remarks9. sexual assault
3. sexual kidding or teasing10. electronic communication such as texting
4. sexual innuendo11. invitation to social networking
5. pressure for dates or sexual favors12. remarks about a student’s body
6. inappropriate touching, fondling, kissing or grabbing13. consensual sex
7. rape

Examples of acts of unethical conduct may include but are not be limited to:

1. sexual jokes

2. sexual remarks

3. sexual kidding or teasing

4. sexual innuendo

5. pressure for dates or sexual favors

6. inappropriate touching, fondling, kissing or grabbing

7. rape

8. threats of physical harm

9. sexual assault

10. electronic communication such as texting

11. invitation to social networking

12. remarks about a student’s body

13. consensual sex

Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships

Scenario 4: Mr. Harris has been the director for the Fairley High School Mean Green Marching Band for 20 years. He is proud of the band’s annual all-superior ratings during state competitions.  Mr. Harris believes being a part of this band is a privilege for any student.  He is aware that upperclassmen in the band perform illegal initiations and hazing of incoming freshmen but does nothing to stop this.  

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 Mr. Harris’ behavior describes which component of Standard 4 Unethical Conduct?

Committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment

Committing or soliciting any unlawful sexual act

Furnishing tobacco, alcohol, or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student or allowing a student to consume alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs

Soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, physical or romantic relationship with students.

Let’s check your understanding of Standard 4. We will read and answer Scenario 4 together. Then, you will complete the Standard 4 assessment questions.

Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships

Assessment Q1: Ms. Jackson is very fond of a male student Marcus.  Marcus comes to Ms. Jackson’s class during her planning period to talk.  She often writes him an excuse to the teacher’s class he skips while visiting with her.  She and Marcus begin communicating via text, and he eventually comes to her home.  The principal has been informed that a possible relationship exists between the two.  An investigation uncovers a four month long sexual relationship.  The violation is reported immediately to the MDE Office of Educator Misconduct.  Ms. Jackson goes before the Licensure Commission resulting in permanent suspension of her educator license. 

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Ms. Jackson’s behavior describes which component of Standard 4

Unethical Conduct?

Committing any act of child abuse

Committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment

Engaging in harassing behavior on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion or disability

Soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, physical or romantic relationship with students.

Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships

Assessment Q2: Mr. Larry teaches 8th grade social studies.  He has a new student Alex, who is having trouble adjusting to the school.  He discovers that he and Alex share a hobby of watching World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).  He feels that connecting with Alex about wrestling will assist him in adjusting to the school.  Mr. Larry gives Alex his cell number enabling texting and chatting about the wrestling matches that come on throughout the week.  

Since the student and teacher’s conversation via text is only about wrestling, does it violate the Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics?

Yes

No

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Standard 4: Educator/Student Relationships

Assessment Q3: Mr. Baker teaches World History at Kalestone High School, which has a diverse student body.  While teaching a unit on world religions, Mr. Baker makes fun of the dress code of various cultures.  He often makes these types of rude and insulting comments about race and religion that offend many students.

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Mr. Baker’s behavior describes which component of Standard 4 Unethical Conduct?

Committing any act of child abuse

Committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment

Engaging in harassing behavior on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion or disability

Soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, physical or romantic relationship with students.

Educator/Collegial Relationships

Standard 5

An educator should always maintain a professional relationship with colleagues inside and outside of the classroom.

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Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships–An educator should always maintain a professional relationship with colleagues inside and outside of the classroom.

Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships Overview

Standard 5 discusses the importance of educator-collegial relationships to encourage professional growth. Participating in the following relationship-building situations are helpful:

professional learning communities

departmental committees

co-chairing events

team teaching

collaborative lesson planning

education related organizations

“Teachers’ relationships, such as those in collegial communities, are important sources of social capital, defined as the potential and actual set of cognitive, social, and material resources made available through direct and indirect relationships with others” (Bourdieu, 1986; Coleman, 1988; Lin, 2001) as quoted in (Bridwell-Mitchell & Cooc, 2016, p. 7).

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Standard 5 discusses the importance of educator-collegial relationships. The interactions with fellow educators helps one to grow in many ways in his/her profession; therefore, educators should be intentional in developing healthy, meaningful relationships. There are several ways educators can establish these types of relationships, such as being a part of a professional learning community, departmental committees, co-chairing events, team teaching, collaborative lesson planning, and joining other education related organizations. As an educator, seek ways to build professional relationships with your colleagues.

Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships

5. Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to the following:

Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues

Knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

Interfering with a colleague’s exercise of political, professional, or citizenship rights and responsibilities

Discriminating against based on race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability or family status

Using coercive means or promise of special treatment to influence professional decisions  

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Under Standard 5. Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to the following:

a. Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law

b. Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

c. Interfering with a colleague’s exercise of political, professional, or citizenship rights and responsibilities

d. Discriminating against or coercing a colleague on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability or family status

e. Using coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions of colleagues.

Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships

Scenario 14: Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Davis teach next door to each other and share the same students. In Mrs. Smith class, the students are very loud and unruly and make very little efforts to follow classroom norms. Mrs. Davis experiences none of the behavior problems. The principal visits both of their rooms and informs Mrs. Smith that she should have better classroom management. She mentions how those same students behave well in Mrs. Davis classroom. Feeling embarrassed and defeated, Mrs. Smith tells the principal and other teachers that Mrs. Davis is doing unethical things in her classroom, such as: giving all students good grades; playing games all day instead of teaching; allowing the use of cell phones during class for non-academic purposes; and allowing students to skip their other classes to hangout in her room. The principal investigates the accusations Mrs. Smith made and found none of them to be true.

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Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships

Scenario 14 Question:

Mrs. Smith’s behavior describes which component of Standard 5 Unethical Conduct?

Discriminating against or coercing a colleague on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability or family status

Using coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions of colleagues.

Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law

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Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships

Assessment Q1: Brinson Academy has an opening for an assistant principal. The principal, Mrs. Ackron, and a panel made up of teachers, community members, and parents interviewed several candidates for the position. Of all the candidates, Mr. Hallman was determined to be, by far, the most qualified and best fit for the position. The committee voted and agreed to offer the position to Mr. Hallman. Just before the principal submits the hiring paperwork to the Human Resources office, she decides to look up Mr. Hallman on social media. She discovers he is married to someone of the same gender. She fears what negative attention this would bring to her school if people in the community find out this information about Mr. Hallman. Mrs. Ackron decides to offer the position to another candidate, Mrs. Davis. She was scored much lower by the interview panel, and her most recent rating on the Professional Growth System Teacher Rubric was 2. The principal’s behavior describes which component of Standard 5 Unethical Conduct?

Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law

Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

Discriminating against or coercing a colleague on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability or family status

Using coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions of colleagues.

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Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships

Assessment Q2: The Social Studies team at Blakemont Middle School must choose between 2 new curriculums to use next school year: X Curriculum and DA Curriculum. Mr. Pettis, the social studies team leader, will make his recommendation for the better product to the assistant principal. He reviewed both options thoroughly. X Curriculum would require more work for the teachers in preparing lessons and activities, but he truly feels it would improve student outcomes. Mrs. Tinsel has also reviewed them. She agrees with Mr. Pettis that X Curriculum is better for improving outcomes and student engagement; however, she does not want to do all of the additional required preparatory work. She informs Mr. Pettis that if he votes for the DA Curriculum, she will cover his rowdiest class every Friday for two months. Being influenced by Mrs. Tinsel, Mr. Pettis chooses DA Curriculum for the department.

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Mrs. Tinsel’s behavior describes which component of Standard 5 Unethical Conduct?

Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law

Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

Discriminating against or coercing a colleague on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability or family status

Using coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions of colleagues.

Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships

Assessment Q3: Mrs. Johns has been the principal of Persimmon Street Middle School for 5 years and has developed a great rapport with her staff. In fact, she sees them more as her family. Ms. French was hired by Mrs. Johns to teach 8th grade English. During the interview, Ms. French revealed to Mrs. Johns that she tested positive for a communicable disease but has been doing very well with ongoing treatment. She informs Mrs. Johns that she may have to miss a day periodically for check-ups. She provides Mrs. Johns with medical documentation as evidence for her appointments. Mrs. Johns learns that a couple of the male teachers have interest in Ms. French and want to date her. She is very fond of the male teachers and fears for their health if they choose to date Ms. French. In private, she tells each of the men that he may want to reconsider his interest in dating Ms. French and vaguely alludes to her health condition.

Mrs. John’s behavior describes which component of Standard 5 Unethical Conduct?

Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law

Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

Interfering with a colleague’s exercise of political, professional, or citizenship rights and responsibilities

Neither: She was right to share that information with the male teachers since this posed a possible threat to their health.

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Standard 5: Educator/Collegial Relationships

Assessment Q4: The Teacher of the Year (TOY) program is a big deal in the Mahaffey School District. Each school is allowed to select a TOY who receives $1,000. Each school’s TOY then competes for the district teacher of the year for the opportunity to win $3,000 and be the district representative at the state recognition program. The counselor is responsible for the program at Mahaffey Elementary School. The two finalists are Ms. Jackson and Mrs. Evers. All teachers in the building vote for the school TOY by turning in their ballots to the counselor. The counselor receives all ballots, and Ms. Jackson has the most votes. The counselor decides that since Ms. Jackson is single and has no children, she doesn’t have much need for the money. Mrs. Evers has a family and could definitely use the money from winning TOY. Although Ms. Jackson received more votes for TOY, the counselor decides to announce Mrs. Evers as the winner.

The counselor’s behavior describes which component of Standard 5 Unethical Conduct?

Discriminating against or coercing a colleague on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability or family status

Using coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions of colleagues.

Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law

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Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession

Standard 6

An educator should refrain from the use of alcohol and/or tobacco during the course of professional practice and should never use illegal or unauthorized drugs.

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Standard 6: Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession

An educator should refrain from the use of alcohol and/or tobacco during the course of professional practice and should never use illegal or unauthorized drugs.

Standard 6: Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession Overview

Should never use illegal or unauthorized drugs

Perform school related activities without being impaired or under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol

Discuss with students the dangers of using these substances and ways to abstain from usage

Be proactive in finding ways to prevent and deter substance abuse among students.

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Standard 6 discusses the educator’s responsibility to provide safety for all students.

Standard 6 discusses the educator’s responsibility of provide safety for all students.

As an educator, you are responsible for the safety and welfare of all students. One must perform his or her job without being impaired or under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. It is mandatory that educators are not under the influence on school premises or while performing school-related activities. With reasonable suspicion of drugs or alcohol, a public employer may search a public employee’s office (e.g. desk and file cabinet where personal correspondence is stored) (O’Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709 [1987]). Therefore, if your actions and/or information received warrants a search or testing for drugs/alcohol, you are required to comply. Not only should educators not engage in the use of alcohol and/or tobacco while working and never use illegal or unauthorized drugs, but educators should also discuss with students the dangers of using these substances and ways to abstain from usage. Be proactive in finding ways to prevent and deter substance abuse among students.

Standard 6: Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession Ethical Conduct

6.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Factually representing the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use and abuse to students

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Under standard 6.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Factually representing the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use and abuse to students during the course of professional practice.

Standard 6: Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession Unethical Conduct

6.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Being under the influence of or possessing, using, consuming illegal or unauthorized drugs

Being impaired by drugs or alcohol while on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students

Using tobacco on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students.

A school-related activity includes but is not limited to any school sponsored activity with students that is designed to enhance the school curricula.

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Under Standard 6.2. –Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Being under the influence of, possessing, using, or consuming illegal or unauthorized drugs

Being on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students while documented as being under the influence of, possessing, or consuming alcoholic beverages.

c) Being on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students while documented using tobacco.

A school-related activity includes but is not limited to any school sponsored activity with students that is designed to enhance the school curricula. (A Club field trip is an example.)

Standard 6: Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession

Scenario 6: Mrs. Dunson desires to teach her students about the dangers of consuming alcohol and illegal drugs.

Which of the following activities would be the least effective way to teach the students about substance abuse?

Students will complete an activity in which they learn of the effects various drugs have on the brain.

Students will discuss in groups how they should respond if being pressured by a peer to use drugs and alcohol.

Students will watch an R-rated movie that contains violence and shows drug abuse and its effect on a major city.

Invite a health professional to class to discuss the dangers of substance abuse and ways to avoid

Students are introduced to four short stories, each involving use of an illicit drug. The students must use clues from the stories, witnesses, scenes, and doing laboratory experiments to develop a hypothesis and identify the drug in the story.

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Let’s check your understanding of Standard 6. We will read and answer Scenario 6 together. Then, you will complete the Standard 6 assessment questions.

Standard 6: Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession

What should Mr. Brunson do?

Go about his day and do nothing

Talk to Coach Grisham about not using drugs. Inform him that if he is under the influence of drugs again on school property, he will report him to the principal.

He doesn’t want to ruin the championship game for the school, so he waits until the following day to inform the principal of what he observed of Coach Grisham.

He goes to the principal immediately and reports what he observed of Coach Grisham.

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Assessment Q1: Today is the football championship game day for Fairley High School. Mr. Brunson pulls into the school parking lot and notices the football coach, Coach Grisham, sitting in his truck smoking what appears to be marijuana. As the two men enter the building, Mr. Brunson smells the scent of marijuana on Coach Grisham. Coach Grisham’s eyes are red, and his speech is slower. They both sign-in and go to their rooms.

Standard 6: Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession

Assessment Q2: Mrs. Townsend is over the academic debate team at Johnson Performing Arts High School. She travels to Southaven with the debate team for a competition. Mrs. Townsend and the students select to eat at a local restaurant for dinner. Mrs. Townsend orders an alcoholic beverage with her dinner.

Does Mrs. Townsend’s decision to order an alcoholic beverage violate ethical behavior for an educator?

No. It is after work hours, and she is not on school property.

Yes

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Public Funds and Property

Standard 7

An educator shall not knowingly misappropriate, divert, or use funds, personnel, property, or equipment committed to his or her charge for personal gain or advantage.

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Standard 7: Public Funds and Property

An educator shall not knowingly misappropriate, divert, or use funds, personnel, property, or equipment committed to his or her charge for personal gain or advantage.

Standard 7: Public Funds and Property Overview

Mismanagement of funds, property, and equipment

Misrepresenting oneself to misappropriate school funds or property

Practices punishable by termination, fines, and/or jail time

Being informed of district, state, and federal policies related to appropriate management is essential.

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Standard 7 discusses public funds and deceptive practices that include but are not limited to the following:

Educator misconduct is more than mismanaging relationships with students and colleagues, it also includes the mismanagement of funds, property, and equipment. It violates the educator code of ethical conduct to misrepresent oneself in order to misappropriate school funds or property.

These types of deceptive practices may be punishable by termination, fines, and/or jail time. When handling funds and equipment, be sure to know and follow all district, state, and federal policies related to appropriate management. Attend trainings and read related manuals that deal directly with this topic if this is one of your job functions.

Standard 7: Public Funds and Property Ethical Conduct

7.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Maximizing the positive effect of school funds

Modeling for students and colleagues the responsible use of public property

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7.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Maximizing the positive effect of school funds through careful use of said funds

b. Modeling for students and colleagues the responsible use of public property.

Standard 7: Public Funds and Property Unethical Conduct

7.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Knowingly misappropriating, diverting or using funds, personnel, property for personal gain

Failing to account for collected funds

Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement

Co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts

Using school property without the approval

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7.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Knowingly misappropriating, diverting or using funds, personnel, property or equipment committed to one’s charge for personal gain

b. Failing to account for funds collected from students, parents or any school-related function

c. Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement of expenses or for pay

d. Co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts

e. Using school property without the approval of the local board of education/governing body.

Standard 7: Public Funds and Property

Scenario 7: Ms. Jacobs is the literacy coach for a rural school district. She works with teachers in all of the different schools, some of which are very far out in the county. At the end of each month, she completes a mileage report and is reimbursed for travel. Ms. Jacobs actually travels about 550 miles per month for work, however, she claims 850 miles on her monthly mileage report.

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Mrs. Jacob’s behavior describes which component of Standard 7 Unethical Conduct?

Failing to account for funds collected from students, parents or any school-related function

Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement of expenses or for pay

Co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts

Using school property without the approval of the local board of education/governing body.

Let’s check your understanding of Standard 7. We will read and answer Scenario 7 together. Then, you will complete the Standard 7 assessment questions.

Standard 7: Public Funds and Property

Assessment Q1: Mr. Clifton has been the band director for several years. At the end of the summer, each of the band students must pay fees to cover uniforms and other costs for the year. He collects the money himself and does not issue receipts. Many parents complain that many of the things they paid for were never received. An investigation also revealed that he used some of the money for personal spending.

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Mr. Clifton’s behavior describes which components of Standard 7 Unethical Conduct? Check all that apply.

Knowingly misappropriating, diverting or using funds, personnel, property or equipment committed to his or her charge for personal gain

Failing to account for funds collected from students, parents or any school-related function

Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement of expenses or for pay

Co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts

Standard 7: Public Funds and Property

Assessment Q2: Ms. Hardy is the sponsor of the student council at Royal Springs High School. The student council held a dance raising over $1,000. Ms. Hardy is responsible for depositing the money in the student council checking account. She arrives to her local bank just before closing time, but realizes she left the student council bank account number in her classroom safe. Since she has an account at the bank, she decides she will deposit the student council funds into her personal checking account and move the funds later to the student council account.

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Ms. Hardy’s behavior describes which component of Standard 7 Unethical Conduct?

Failing to account for funds collected from students, parents or any school-related function

Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement of expenses or for pay

Co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts

Using school property without the approval of the local board of education/governing body.

Standard 7: Public Funds and Property

Assessment Q3: Mr. Davis works for Gosher School District as an art and graphics design teacher. He is one of the best graphic artists in the city. Many people from the community request his services to create flyers, brochures, logos, etc. He loves helping the people of his community and charges only a nominal fee for his services; usually the fee is just to replace what he used to make the product. While at work, he uses the school district equipment to create the materials for his clients.

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Mr. Davis’ behavior describes which component of Standard 7 Unethical Conduct?

Knowingly misappropriating, diverting or using funds, personnel, property or equipment committed to his or her charge for personal gain

Failing to account for funds collected from students, parents or any school-related function

Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement of expenses or for pay

Neither since he is not making much of a profit from the service he provides.

Remunerative Conduct

Standard 8

An educator should maintain integrity with students, colleagues, parents, patrons, or businesses when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional compensation.

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Standard 8: An educator should maintain integrity with students, colleagues, parents, patrons, or businesses when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional compensation.

Standard 8: Remunerative Conduct Overview

As an educator, it is imperative that you handle all school related business transactions and relationships with integrity.

Avoid using your position with your district to promote personal business ventures.

Districts should have internal controls in place to discover financial misconduct among employees.

This internal control measures should involve investigating allegations of waste, fraud, financial mismanagement and employee misconduct (Sullivan, 2016).

Regardless, educators are responsible for ensuring the district gets the best quality for the best price without fraud, bribery, favors, and promises of personal gain.

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Standard 8 discusses the importance of educators handling all school related business transactions and relationships with integrity. For example, it is unethical to use your position with your district to promote or solicit personal business ventures. Your judgment in business matters should not be impaired by potential personal gain. Districts should have internal controls in place to discover financial misconduct among employees. This internal control measures should involve investigating allegations of waste, fraud, financial mismanagement and employee misconduct (Sullivan, 2016). If you are an educator that performs duties related to business and financial matters, you are responsible to ensure the district gets the best quality for the best price without fraud, bribery, favors, and promises of personal gain.

Standard 8: Remunerative Conduct Ethical Conduct

8.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Insuring that institutional privileges are not used for personal gain

b. Insuring that school policies or procedures are not impacted by gifts or gratuities

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8.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Insuring that institutional privileges are not used for personal gain

b. Insuring that school policies or procedures are not impacted by gifts or gratuities from any person or organization.

Standard 8: Remunerative Conduct Unethical Conduct

8.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator that financial benefit the educator

Tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local school board

Accepting or offering gratuities, gifts, or favors that impair professional judgment or to obtain special advantage

(This standard shall not restrict the acceptance of gifts or tokens offered and accepted openly from students, parents, or other persons or organizations in recognition or appreciation of service.)

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8.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator or to participate in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local governing body

b. Tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local school board

c. The educator shall neither accept nor offer gratuities, gifts, or favors that impair professional judgment or to obtain special advantage. (This standard shall not restrict the acceptance of gifts or tokens offered and accepted openly from students, parents, or other persons or organizations in recognition or appreciation of service.)

Standard 8: Remunerative Conduct

Scenario 8: Dr. Grant is the district’s administrator for online learning and is responsible for selecting a vendor to provide online courses. He has met with several vendors who have made great presentations. Two representatives from one of the vendors ask to take him out to dinner as an appreciation for him listening to their presentation. While at dinner, the representatives inform him that if he chooses their company, they will send him a personal check of $5,000 to his home address. Dr. Grant accepts this deal and chooses this company as the vendor for the online courses for his district.

Dr. Grant’s behavior describes which component of Standard 8 Unethical Conduct?

Soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator or to participate in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local governing body

Tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local school board

The educator shall neither accept nor offer gratuities, gifts, or favors that impair professional judgment or to obtain special advantage.

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Let’s check your understanding of Standard 8. We will read and answer Scenario 8 together. Then, you will complete the Standard 8 assessment questions.

Standard 8: Remunerative Conduct

Assessment Q1: Greg is the star basketball player at Griffith High School, but he struggles in math. If he fails the semester exam in Mr. Teal’s algebra class, he will be ineligible to play basketball for the rest of the season. He asks Mrs. Anderson, another math teacher, if she would tutor him 3 days per week, and she agrees. With Mrs. Anderson’s help, Greg successfully passes the exam. Greg and his parents are very appreciative of Mrs. Anderson for tutoring Greg and give her a $50 gift certificate to Massage Envy Spa.

Is it ethical for Mrs. Anderson to accept this gift?

Yes

No

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Standard 8: Remunerative Conduct

Assessment Q2: Mrs. Sylvester is a teacher at Dixon Valley Elementary School. She makes gift baskets and sells them from her home. It’s the beginning of February, and she knows people will be purchasing Valentine’s Day gifts soon. As each of her students’ parents come to pick up his/her child, she informs them that she will be selling Valentine’s Day gift baskets and gives them her personal business card.

Mrs. Sylvester’s behavior describes which component of Standard 8 Unethical Conduct?

Soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator or to participate in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local governing body

Tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local school board

The educator shall neither accept nor offer gratuities, gifts, or favors that impair professional judgment or to obtain special advantage. (This standard shall not restrict the acceptance of gifts or tokens offered and accepted openly from students, parents, or other persons or organizations in recognition or appreciation of service.)

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Standard 8: Remunerative Conduct

Assessment Q3: Mr. Davis is the principal at Blueville Middle School. He and his wife have recently applied to be a part of a very prestigious country club. The club’s president, Mr. Fields, has a son who attends Blueville. Mr. Fields’ son earned a failing grade in science. Mr. Fields tells the principal if he changes his son’s grade, he will guarantee that Mr. Davis and his wife are accepted into the country club with the highest level of membership privileges. After all teacher grades have been entered into SAMS student system, Mr. Davis accesses the system and changes the student’s grade.

Mr. Davis’ behavior describes which component of Standard 8 Unethical Conduct?

Soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator or to participate in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local governing body

Tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local school board

The educator shall neither accept nor offer gratuities, gifts, or favors that impair professional judgment or to obtain special advantage.

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Maintenance of Confidentiality

Standard 9

An educator shall comply with state and federal laws and local school board policies relating to confidentiality of student and personnel records, standardized test material, and other information covered by confidentiality agreements.

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Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality:

An educator shall comply with state and federal laws and local school board policies relating to confidentiality of student and personnel records, standardized test material, and other information covered by confidentiality agreements.

Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality Overview

Standard 9 discusses the need for educators to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality when handling sensitive and private student and adult information.

Working together to ensure confidentiality and proper sharing of information

Holding oneself and others accountable for protecting student and adult privacy is essential

Developing a shared understanding and working knowledge of one another’s ethical, legal, and professional responsibilities

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Developing a shared understanding and working knowledge of one another’s ethical, legal, and professional responsibilities can lead to a collaborative and cohesive working alliance in the safe management of information (Williams & Wehrman, 2010).

Standard 9 discusses the need for educators to maintain with the highest degree of confidentiality since they handle sensitive and private student and adult information on a daily basis. The ethical principle of confidentiality is at the core of all professional educators. However, the protection of confidentiality is not an absolute guarantee since exceptions are mandated both in ethical codes and in law (Lehr, Lehr, & Sumarah, 2007). Standard 9 discusses the different circumstances in which educators are allowed to share information and what information should remain confidential at all times. Educators must work together to ensure confidentiality and proper sharing of information. This involves ensuring oneself practices confidentiality of sensitive information and holding others accountable. Developing a shared understanding and working knowledge of one another’s ethical, legal, and professional responsibilities can lead to a collaborative and cohesive working alliance in the safe management of information (Williams & Wehrman, 2010).

Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality Ethical Conduct

9.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Protecting student information obtained during professional service unless disclosure is appropriate or required by law

Maintaining the security of standardized test supplies and resources

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9.1. Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Keeping in confidence information about students that has been obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a legitimate purpose or is required by law

b. Maintaining diligently the security of standardized test supplies and resources.

Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality Unethical Conduct

9.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Sharing confidential information concerning student records concerning academic/disciplinary, health/medical, family status/income, and assessment/testing results, etc.

Violating confidentiality agreements related to standardized testing including: copying/teaching identified test items, publishing/distributing test items or answers, discussing test items, and violating local school board or state test directions

Violating other confidentiality agreements required by state or local policy

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9.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Sharing confidential information concerning student academic and disciplinary records, health and medical information family status/income and assessment/testing results unless disclosure is required or permitted by law.

b. Violating confidentiality agreements related to standardized testing including copying or teaching identified test items, publishing or distributing test items or answers, discussing test items, and violating local school board or state directions for the use of tests

c. Violating other confidentiality agreements required by state or local policy.

Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality

Scenario 9: Mr. Hobbs 7th Grade English scores have been the highest in the district for the last 5 years. He works with the state department to write MAAP test items. The principal discovered that Mr. Hobbs copies the state test items and shares them with his students.

Mr. Hobbs’ behavior describes which component of Standard 9 Unethical Conduct?

Sharing confidential information concerning student academic and disciplinary records, health and medical information family status/income and assessment/testing results unless disclosure is required or permitted by law.

Violating confidentiality agreements related to standardized testing including copying or teaching identified test items, publishing or distributing test items or answers, discussing test items, and violating local school board or state directions for the use of tests

Violating other confidentiality agreements required by state or local policy.

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Let’s check your understanding of Standard 9. We will read and answer Scenario 9 together. Then, you will complete the Standard 9 assessment questions.

Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality

Assessment Q1: Mrs. Jointer has a student Shelly who has significant cognitive disabilities. Mrs. Jointer runs into Shelly’s mom at the beauty salon. She recognizes her from the IEP meetings. Once Shelly’s mom leaves the beauty shop, Mrs. Jointer discusses Shelly’s disabilities with her stylist and the other women in the beauty salon. Mrs. Jointer’s behavior describes which component of Standard 9 Unethical Conduct?

Sharing confidential information concerning student academic and disciplinary records, health and medical information family status/income and assessment/testing results unless disclosure is required or permitted by law.

Violating confidentiality agreements related to standardized testing including copying or teaching identified test items, publishing or distributing test items or answers, discussing test items, and violating local school board or state directions for the use of tests

Violating other confidentiality agreements required by state or local policy.

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Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality

MDE Test Security Violations

Cheating and/or questionable test behavior on any of MDE’s tests

Accessing questions prior to the test

Taking photos or making copies of test questions or test materials

Posting test questions on the internet (social media or websites)

Test Administrators who are not allowing students the proper accommodations based upon their Individualized Education Plan (IEP); or

Test administrator and/or test proctor misconduct (such as providing answers and/or questions to test takers, telling students to change their answers, allowing electronic devices to be used during testing, and/or permitting test takers to talk among themselves during testing).

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Assessment Q2: You are aware that a teacher on your hall has committed one of the MDE test security violations listed on the left, what should you do?

Tell the teacher to stop or he/she will be reported to the principal.

Nothing. Reports of test security are not taken seriously by the district or MDE.

Report his/her actions to the MDE Test Security Hotline.

Record him/her with your phone as evidence of their misconduct.

Standard 9: Maintenance of Confidentiality

Assessment Q3: Which of the following violates confidentiality of student information?

Mrs. Johnson has been observing Adam for weeks. He has trouble keeping up with his classmates and lacks many basic skills needed for his grade. She shares her findings with the counselor and the principal and recommends the student be tested for special education and/or other services.

At the beginning of the year, Mr. Henson notices several bruises on one of his students. He believes the student is being abused at home due to several signs and symptoms he’s observed and documented. She has started to become a behavior problem. She doesn’t complete assignments, is combative with the teacher and other students, and wears clothing not appropriate for the season. She often complains that she isn’t feeling well and wants to just sleep in class. He reports his observation to the school social worker.

Anna is a student in Mr. Cannon’s PE class, and her family attends the same church with him. Anna has several behavior problems. Mr. Cannon has been asked to sit in on several conferences with Anna and her parents. Mr. Cannon feels that her parents are not supporting the school in helping to modify Anna’s ongoing behavior problems. Mr. Cannon talks to the pastor in detail about what is happening with Anna and seeks his advice.

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Breach of Contract or Abandonment of Employment

Standard 10

An educator should fulfill all of the terms and obligations detailed in the contract with the local school board or educational agency for the duration of the contract.

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Standard 10: Breach of Contract or abandonment of employment: An educator should fulfill all of the terms and obligations detailed in the contract with the local school board or educational agency for the duration of the contract.

Standard 10: Breach of Contract or Abandonment of Employment Overview

Standard 10 discusses the educator’s responsibility in fulfilling contractual obligations, which includes but is not limited to the following:

includes proper instruction of content

timely grading and assessment of student progress

properly supervising students and managing the classroom

ensuring the safety and welfare of all students.

fulfilling the entire duration of teaching contract

If you resign from a position or quit without being released, your district may pursue a suspension of your educator license for one year due to breach of contract and abandonment of employment. This applies to superintendent, principal, and any licensed employee. Miss. Code § 37-9-57

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Standard 10 discusses the educator’s responsibility of fulfilling contractual obligations. As an educator, you are required to fulfill all job duties and responsibilities as detailed in your contract. As a teacher, this includes proper instruction of content, timely grading and assessment of student progress, properly supervising students and managing the classroom, and ensuring the safety and welfare of all students. Also, you must fulfill the entire duration of your contract. For instance, if your last day of service for the year is May 28th, then you must work until that day. If you resign before this time without being released, your district may pursue a suspension of your educator license for one year due to breach of contract and abandonment of employment. This applies to superintendent, principal, and any licensed employee. Miss. Code § 37-9-57

Standard 10: Breach of Contract or Abandonment of Employment Unethical Conduct

10. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Abandoning the contract for professional services without prior release from the contract by the school board

Refusing to perform services required by the contract

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Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Abandoning the contract for professional services without prior release from the contract by the school board

Refusing to perform services required by the contract

Standard 10: Breach of Contract or Abandonment of Employment

Scenario 10: In each situation, match the action of the educator with the Standard 10 unethical behavior.

 1. Mr. Burton signed his contract agreeing to return to McDonald Middle School. Over the summer, he lands a one-year internship at a local chemical company. He decides to take the internship at the company and not return to McDonald Middle School as a teacher.

 2. Mrs. Milton teaches 5th grade math and science at Butler Elementary School. Several parents have complained to the principal that Mrs. Milton doesn’t grade student work or post grades online as other teachers. The students say that they do not receive any instruction all day. She assigns a couple of workbook pages each day. Once students complete the work, they are allowed to talk to their friends as long as they don’t get too loud. Mrs. Milton spends most the day on the computer or talking on her cell phone during class time and sometimes leaves the students unattended.

Unethical behaviors

Abandoning the contract for professional services without prior release from the contract by the school board

Refusing to perform services required by the contract.

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Now apply your knowledge to scenario 33.

Inquiries and Reporting

For questions and inquiries related to the Code of Ethics training, contact the Office of Teaching and Leading at 601-359-3631.

To report an educator misconduct case, contact the Office of Educator Misconduct at 601-359-2472.

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Thank you for participating in the Mississippi Ethics – Code of Conduct training. For questions and inquiries related to the training, contact the Office of Teaching and Leading at 601-359-3631.

To report an educator misconduct case, contact the Office of Educator Misconduct at 601-359-2472.

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