Code of Ethics (Policy 300)
In the administration and governance of public organizations, a bond of trust must be maintained between the directors and employees of the organization and the citizens that the organization serves. While there are statues, regulations and other legal requirements that help to ensure that the public interest is protected, the Board and the administration of the School District of Lancaster believe that these legal requirements do not establish adequate standards for the high level of ethical conduct that the school district expects of itself and its employees. Therefore, the Board established a Code of Ethics to regulate the manner in which the school district conducts its business affairs and to ensure that the public interest is protected.
The Code of Ethics of the School District of Lancaster shall not be construed in a way that infringes upon or interferes with any individual right existing under the Constitution of the United States or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or under any applicable statutes.
Child Abuse (Policy 806)
The Board requires district employees, independent contractors and volunteers to comply with identification and reporting requirements for suspected child abuse, as well as the training requirement for recognition and reporting of child abuse in order to comply with the Child Protective Services Law and the School Code
School employees, independent contractors or volunteers who suspect child abuse shall immediately make a written report of suspected child abuse using electronic technologies or an oral report via the statewide toll-free telephone number. A person making an initial oral report of suspected child abuse must also submit a written electronic report within forty-eight (48) hours after the oral report.
A school employee, independent contractor or volunteer who makes a report of suspected child abuse shall immediately, after making the initial report, notify the school principal and if the initial report was made electronically, also provide the principal with a copy of the report confirmation. If the school principal is the subject of the report, the school employee, independent contractor or volunteer who makes a report of suspected child abuse shall immediately, after making the initial report, notify the Director of Human Resources.
Conduct On School Property and School Events (Policy 904)
The School Board welcomes the public at activities and events sponsored by the school district, but the Board also acknowledges its duty to maintain order and preserve school facilities. The Board prohibits behavior/conduct which threatens the health/safety and welfare of others, and which is disruptive to the school environment.
The School Board prohibits gambling and the possession and use of controlled substances, alcoholic beverages and weapons on school
Controlled substances shall include all:
- Controlled substances prohibited by federal and state law.
- Look-alike drugs.
- Alcoholic beverages, including alcohol in any form.
- Anabolic steroids.
- Drug paraphernalia.
- Any volatile solvents or inhalants, such as but not limited to glue and aerosol products.
The term “weapon” shall include, but shall not be limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.
Dress Code (Policies 355/455/555)
The School Board believes that appearance affects how individuals are perceived and received in definite ways. Clothing has nothing to do with students liking a staff member, but clothing definitely has an effect on students’ respect for staff and respect is what our school environments must reflect if learning is to take place. We want our message to be that we are a group of professional, proud, devoted, dedicated, responsible, and valued people.
Maintaining Professional Adult/Student Boundaries (Policy 824)
All volunteers who interact with students or are present on school grounds shall be expected to maintain professional, moral and ethical relationships with district students that are conducive to an effective, safe learning environment. This policy addresses a range of behaviors that include not only obviously unlawful or improper interactions with students, but also precursor grooming and other boundary-blurring behaviors that can lead to more egregious misconduct.
Protection of students is the paramount concern of this policy. However, this policy also protects adults, by providing guidance on how to avoid having well-intended interactions with students misconstrued as inappropriate conduct. The policy protects adults by having them obtain prior written consent of a building principal and parent/guardian in nonemergency situations before giving rides to students, taking or accompanying students on outings outside of school grounds, or being with students in the home of the adult or a student.
This policy is not intended to interfere with appropriate pre-existing personal relationships between adults and students and their families that exist independently of the district or to interfere with participation in civic, religious or other outside organizations that include district students.
A volunteer who violates this policy may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or may be prohibited from working or serving in district schools for an appropriate period of time or permanently.
Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Environment (Policies 323/423/523)
The School Board recognizes that smoking during school hours and on school property presents a health and safety hazard that can have serious consequences for the smoker and the nonsmoker, the safety of the district, and the health, safety and welfare of children. Therefore, smoking on school property, in school buildings and in school vehicles is a substantial concern to the Board of School Directors.
For purposes of this policy, smoking shall mean the use of tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes, pipes, electronic cigarettes, vapor producing instruments and smokeless tobacco.
Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Response (Policy 819)
The Board is committed to helping protect the health, safety and welfare of its students and school community. This policy supports federal, state and local efforts to provide education on youth suicide awareness and prevention; establish methods of prevention, intervention, and response to suicide or suicide attempt; and to promote access to awareness and prevention resources.
In compliance with state law and regulations, and in support of the district’s suicide awareness prevention and response measures, information received in confidence from a student may be revealed to the student’s parents/guardians, the building principal or other appropriate authority when the health, welfare or safety of the student or any other person is deemed to be at risk.
All district employees, including but not limited to secretaries, coaches, bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers, shall receive information regarding risk factors, warning signs, response procedures, referrals, and resources regarding youth suicide prevention.
Any district employee who has identified a student with one (1) or more warning signs or who has an indication that a student may be contemplating suicide, shall immediately refer the student for further assessment and intervention.
School Volunteers should immediately report to their direct supervisor any information they obtain related to a student demonstrating suicide risk factors and/or warning signs.
Unlawful Harassment (Policies 248/348/448/548)
The Board strives to provide a sage, positive working climate for its employees. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the district to maintain an employment environment in which harassment in any form is not tolerated. The Board prohibits all forms of unlawful harassment of employees and third parties by all district students and staff members, contracted individuals, vendors, volunteers, and third parties in schools. The Board encourages employees and third parties who have been harassed to promptly report such incidents to their direct supervisor. If the director supervisor is the subject of a complaint, the incident should be reported directly to the Principal or Compliance Officer.
The Board directs that complaints of harassment shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action be taken when allegations are substantiated. Confidentiality of all parties shall be maintained, consistent with the district’s legal and investigative obligations.
Neither reprisals nor retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith charges of harassment.
Harassment shall consist of verbal, written, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, national origin/ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion when such conduct:
- Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects an individual’s ability to perform job functions or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive work environment.
- Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance.
- Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s work opportunities.
Sexual harassment shall consist of unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate verbal, written, graphic or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Acceptance of such conduct is made, explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s continued employment.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual.
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the employee’s job performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to sexual flirtations, advances, touching or propositions; verbal abuse of sexual nature; graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or body; sexually degrading works to describe an individual; jokes; pin-ups; calendars; objects; graffiti; vulgar statements; abusive language; innuendoes; references to sexual activities; overt sexual conduct; or any conduct that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s ability to work or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
To report unlawful harassment, please complete the “Report Form For Complaints of Unlawful Harassment” which can be obtained at the school where you are volunteering.