Wilkes County Schools

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Public Notice
7000 Series - Personnel » 7000 Standard of Professional Conduct

7000 Standard of Professional Conduct

The standards listed in this section shall apply to all school employees and shall be the basis for review of the performance of school employees. These standards shall establish prohibitions and mandatory requirements for all employees. Violation of these standards shall subject an employee to investigation and disciplinary action by the Wilkes County School System and/or the State Board of Education.

All employees, student teachers, and volunteers shall adhere to the standards of professional conduct contained in this policy. Any act or omission that violates these standards is prohibited.

A. Generally Recognized Professional Standards

The employee shall practice the professional standards of federal, state, and local governing bodies.

B. Personal Conduct

The employee shall serve as a positive role model for students, parents, and the community. Because the employee is entrusted with the care and education of small children and adolescents, the employee shall demonstrate a high standard of personal character and conduct.

C. Honesty

The employee shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in the performance of professional duties including the following:
  1. statement of professional qualifications;
  2. application or recommendation for professional employment, promotion, or licensure;
  3. application or recommendation for college or university admission, scholarship, grant, academic award, or similar benefit;
  4. representation of completion of college or staff development credit;
  5. evaluation or grading of students or personnel;
  6. submission of financial or program compliance reports submitted to state, federal, or other governmental agencies;
  7. submission of information in the course of an official inquiry by the employing LEA or the State Board of Education related to facts of unprofessional conduct, provided, however, that an employee shall be given adequate notice of the allegations and may be represented by legal counsel; and
  8. submission of information in the course of an investigation by a law enforcement agency, child protective services, or any other agency with the right to investigate, regarding school-related criminal activity; provided, however, that an employee shall be entitled to decline to give evidence to law enforcement if such evidence may tend to incriminate the employee as that term is defined by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

D. Proper Remunerative Conduct

The employee shall not solicit current students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the employee in a private remunerative capacity. An employee shall not tutor for remuneration students currently assigned to the educator's classes unless approved by the superintendent. An employee shall not accept any compensation, benefit, or thing of value other than the educator's regular compensation for the performance of any service that the employee is required to render in the course and scope of the educator's employment. This rule shall not restrict performance of any overtime or supplemental services at the request of the LEA; nor shall it apply to or restrict the acceptance of gifts or tokens of minimal value offered and accepted openly from students, parents, or other persons in recognition or appreciation of service.

E. Conduct and Communications with Students

The employee shall treat all students with respect. The employee shall not commit any abusive act or sexual exploitation with, to, or in the presence of a student, whether or not that student is or has been under the care or supervision of that employee, as defined below:
  1. any use of language that is considered profane, vulgar, or demeaning;
  2. any sexual act;
  3. any solicitation of a sexual act, whether written, verbal, or physical;
  4. any act of child abuse, as defined by law;
  5. any act of sexual harassment, as defined by law; and
  6. any intentional solicitation, encouragement, or consummation of a romantic or physical relationship with a student, or any sexual contact with a student. The term "romantic relationship" shall include dating any student.
This section also applies to employee/student electronic communications. Electronic communications include, but are not limited to, email, text messaging, instant messaging, chat rooms, blogging, websites, and communicating through social networking websites (i.e. MySpace or Facebook).

F. Confidential Information

The employee shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information regarding students or their family members that has been obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or professional standards, or is necessary for the personal safety of the student or others.

G. Rights of Others

The employee shall not willfully or maliciously violate the constitutional or civil rights of a student, parent/legal guardian, or colleague.

H. Required Reports

The employee shall make all reports required by Chapter 115C of the North Carolina General Statutes.

I. Alcohol or Controlled Substance Abuse

The employee shall not:
  1. be under the influence of, possess, use, or consume on school premises or at a school-sponsored activity a controlled substance as defined by N.C. General Statute 90-95, the Controlled Substances Act, without a prescription authorizing such use;
  2. be under the influence of, possess, use, or consume an alcoholic beverage or a controlled substance on school premises or at a school-sponsored activity, or
  3. furnish alcohol or a controlled substance to any student except as indicated in the professional duties of administering legally prescribed medications.

J. Compliance with Criminal Laws

The employee shall not commit any act referred to in G.S. 115C-332 and any felony under the laws of the United States or of any state.

K. Public Funds and Property

The employee shall not misuse public funds or property, funds of school-related organizations, or colleagues' funds. The employee shall account for funds collected from students, colleagues, or parents/legal guardians. The employee shall not submit fraudulent requests for reimbursement, expenses, or pay.

L. Scope of Professional Practice

The employee shall not perform any act as an employee in a position for which licensure is required by the rules of the State Board of Education or by Chapter 115C or the North Carolina General Statutes during any period in which the educator's license has been suspended or revoked.

M. Conduct Related to Ethical Violations

The employee shall not directly or indirectly use or threaten to use any official authority or influence in any manner that tends to discourage, restrain, interfere with, coerce, or discriminate against any subordinate or any licensee who in good faith reports, discloses, divulges, or otherwise brings to the attention of an LEA, the State Board of Education, or any other public agency authorized to take remedial action, any facts or information relative to an actual or suspected violation of any law regulating the duties of persons serving in the public school system, including but not limited to these rules.

N. Professional Use of Technology

All staff members shall use the Wilkes County Schools' technology network in an appropriate manner as described in policies 3225/7320. When creating or posting personal material to a webpage or other internet sites apart from the Wilkes County Schools' network, employees should remember that the content may be viewed by anyone including community members, students, and parents.

Employees are to maintain an appropriate relationship with students at all times. The Wilkes County School System considers allowing students to access an employee's personal website or online networking profile a direct communication with students. Employees are encouraged to block students from viewing any material or profiles that are not school related or that are not age-appropriate. Any employee found to have created and/or posted inappropriate content on a website or profile that has an impact on the employee's ability to perform their job as it relates to working with students will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.

This section applies to all employees, applicants, volunteers, and student teachers working for or in the Wilkes County School System 
Adopted:  January 9, 2006