DH(LOCAL) - EMPLOYEE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

Each District employee shall perform his or her duties in accordance with state and federal law, District policy, and ethical standards. The District holds all employees accountable to the Educators' Code of Ethics. [See DH(EXHIBIT)]

Each District employee shall recognize and respect the rights of students, parents, other employees, and members of the community and shall work cooperatively with others to serve the best interests of the District.

An employee wishing to express concern, complaints, or criticism shall do so through appropriate channels. [See DGBA]

Violations of Standards of Conduct

Each employee shall comply with the standards of conduct set out in this policy and with any other policies, regulations, and guidelines that impose duties, requirements, or standards attendant to his or her status as a District employee. Violation of any policies, regulations, or guidelines, including intentionally making a false claim, offering a false statement, or refusing to cooperate with a District investigation, may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment. [See DCD and DF series]

Weapons Prohibited

The District prohibits the use, possession, or display of any firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon, as defined at FNCG, on District property at all times.

Exceptions

No violation of this policy occurs when:

  1. Use or possession of a firearm by a specific employee is authorized by Board action. [See CKE]
  2. A District employee who holds a Texas handgun license stores a handgun or other firearm in a locked vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area provided by the District, provided the handgun or other firearm is not loaded and not in plain view; or
  3. The use, possession, or display of an otherwise prohibited weapon takes place as part of a District-approved activity supervised by proper authorities. [See FOD]

Electronic Communication

Use with Students

A certified employee, licensed employee, or any other employee designated in writing by the Superintendent or a campus principal may use electronic communication, as this term is defined by law, with currently enrolled students only about matters within the scope of the employee's professional responsibilities.

Unless an exception has been made in accordance with the employee handbook or other administrative regulations, an employee shall not use a personal electronic communication platform, application, or account to communicate with currently enrolled students.

Unless authorized above, all other employees are prohibited from using electronic communication directly with students who are currently enrolled in the District. The employee handbook or other administrative regulations shall further detail:

  1. Exceptions for family and social relationships;
  2. The circumstances under which an employee may use text messaging to communicate with individual students or student groups;
  3. Hours of the day during which electronic communication is discouraged or prohibited; and
  4. Other matters deemed appropriate by the Superintendent or designee.

In accordance with ethical standards applicable to all District employees [see DH(EXHIBIT)], an employee shall be prohibited from using electronic communications in a manner that constitutes prohibited harassment or abuse of a District student; adversely affects the student's learning, mental health, or safety; includes threats of violence against the student; reveals confidential information about the student; or constitutes an inappropriate communication with a student, as described in the Educators' Code of Ethics.

An employee shall have no expectation of privacy in electronic communications with students. Each employee shall comply with the District's requirements for records retention and destruction to the extent those requirements apply to electronic communication. [See CPC]

Personal Use

All employees shall be held to the same professional standards in their public use of electronic communication as for any other public conduct. If an employee's use of electronic communication violates state or federal law or District policy, or interferes with the employee's ability to effectively perform his or her job duties, the employee is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Reporting Improper Communication

In accordance with administrative regulations, an employee shall notify his or her supervisor when a student engages in improper electronic communication with the employee.

Disclosing Personal Information

An employee shall not be required to disclose his or her personal email address or personal phone number to a student.

Safety Requirements

Each employee shall adhere to District safety rules and regulations and shall report unsafe conditions or practices to the appropriate supervisor.

Harassment or Abuse

An employee shall not engage in prohibited harassment, including sexual harassment, of:

  1. Other employees. [See DIA]
  2. Students. [See FFH; see FFG regarding child abuse and neglect.]

While acting in the course of employment, an employee shall not engage in prohibited harassment, including sexual harassment, of other persons, including Board members, vendors, contractors, volunteers, or parents.

An employee shall report child abuse or neglect as required by law. [See FFG]

Relationships with Students

An employee shall not form romantic or other inappropriate social relationships with students. Any sexual relationship between a student and a District employee is always prohibited, even if consensual. [See FFH]

As required by law, the District shall notify the parent of a student with whom an educator is alleged to have engaged in certain misconduct. [See FFF]

Tobacco and E‑Cigarettes

An employee shall not smoke or use tobacco products or e‑cigarettes on District property, in District vehicles, or at school-related activities. [See also GKA]

Alcohol and Drugs / Notice of Drug-Free Workplace

As a condition of employment, an employee shall abide by the terms of the following drug-free workplace provisions. An employee shall notify the Superintendent in writing if the employee is convicted for a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace in accordance with Arrests, Indictments, Convictions, and Other Adjudications, below.

An employee shall not manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or be under the influence of any of the following substances during working hours while on District property or at school-related activities during or outside of usual working hours:

  1. Any controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, including but not limited to marijuana, any narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, or barbiturate.
  2. Alcohol or any alcoholic beverage.
  3. Any abusable glue, aerosol paint, or any other chemical substance for inhalation.
  4. Any other intoxicant or mood-changing, mind-altering, or behavior-altering drug.

An employee need not be legally intoxicated to be considered "under the influence" of a controlled substance.

Exceptions

It shall not be considered a violation of this policy if the employee:

  1. Manufactures, possesses, or dispenses a substance listed above as part of the employee's job responsibilities;
  2. Uses or possesses a controlled substance or drug authorized by a licensed physician prescribed for the employee's personal use; or
  3. Possesses a controlled substance or drug that a licensed physician has prescribed for the employee's child or other individual for whom the employee is a legal guardian.

Sanctions

An employee who violates these drug-free workplace provisions shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Sanctions may include:

  1. Referral to drug and alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs;
  2. Referral to employee assistance programs;
  3. Termination from employment with the District; and
  4. Referral to appropriate law enforcement officials for prosecution.

Notice

Employees shall receive a copy of this policy.

Arrests, Indictments, Convictions, and Other Adjudications

An employee shall notify his or her principal or immediate supervisor within three calendar days of any arrest, indictment, conviction, no contest or guilty plea, or other adjudication of the employee for any felony, any offense involving moral turpitude, and any of the other offenses as indicated below:

Crimes involving school property or funds;

Crimes involving attempt by fraudulent or unauthorized means to obtain or alter any certificate or permit that would entitle any person to hold or obtain a position as an educator;

Crimes that occur wholly or in part on school property or at a school-sponsored activity; or

Crimes involving moral turpitude, which include:

Dishonesty; fraud; deceit; theft; misrepresentation;

Deliberate violence;

Base, vile, or depraved acts that are intended to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor;

Felony possession or conspiracy to possess, or any misdemeanor or felony transfer, sale, distribution, or conspiracy to transfer, sell, or distribute any controlled substance defined in Chapter 481 of the Health and Safety Code;

Felony driving while intoxicated (DWI); or

Acts constituting abuse or neglect under the Texas Family Code.

Dress and Grooming

An employee's dress and grooming shall be clean, neat, in a manner appropriate for his or her assignment, and in accordance with any additional standards established by his or her supervisor and approved by the Superintendent.

A District employee shall model pride and professionalism for District students.

Inappropriate Attire

The following list of apparel shall be considered inappropriate and shall not be worn by any professional, instructional, or office employee at the work site, professional meetings, or workshops sponsored by the District, unless an exception is permitted:

Blue jeans and prewashed denim jeans of any color, except on the identified "spirit" day of the week and on teacher workdays.

Warm-ups.

Hats, when worn in classrooms and offices; medical and good faith religious exceptions may be granted.

Muumuus, patio dresses, house coats, tent dresses, and the like.

Tight-fitting garments or extremely loose-fitting garments.

Dresses, skirts, or garments that are above the knee.

Leggings.

Dresses or skirts with slits that are more than three inches in length without a flap, or five inches in length with a flap when the attire is knee-length.

Shorts, except for physical education teaching personnel and performing arts teachers while teaching physical education classes; however, these shorts shall not be tight fitting. A coach shall adhere to the dress policy when attending meetings or teaching regular classes.

Tank tops, spaghetti straps, low-cut, "see-through" or revealing tops or shirts, and attire that reveals the mid-section of the body.

Body-piercing jewelry.

Additional Guidelines

In addition, the following guidelines shall apply:

Women may consider hosiery to be optional; however, men shall wear socks.

Men shall wear dress shirts or polo-style shirts.

T-shirts shall not be worn except on the identified "spirit" day of the week and teacher workdays. Designed T-shirts or outfits may be worn.

Mustaches and beards shall be well-groomed and neatly trimmed.

Tennis shoes and sandals, other than flip-flops, shall be permitted.

Men may wear a single stud earring in the ear.

Hair shall be clean and neatly combed. Styles shall not be extreme to the point of creating a distraction. For example, mohawks, extreme-colored highlights, or bear claws shall not be permitted.

Proper undergarments shall be worn.

All personnel shall adhere to the dress code when attending any professional meeting, including in-service days.

Shorts shall not be permitted except for teachers during physical education classes or performing arts classes. The shorts shall not be tight fitting or too short. Shorts shall not be permitted when attending meetings or teaching regular classes.

Women may wear capri-style pants that fall below the knee.

Enforcement

The following specific procedures and consequences shall be enforced for those who do not follow the dress code:

First offense: The employee shall receive a verbal warning.

Second offense: The employee shall receive a written reprimand.

Third offense: The employee shall receive a written reprimand, and the action shall have a direct effect on his or her performance appraisal.

Fourth offense: The employee shall be considered insubordinate for failure to follow directives and shall be put on probation.

Fifth violation: The employee shall be subject to termination.

An employee who has a serious problem or difficulty adhering to this code is encouraged to speak to his or her immediate supervisor to resolve any concerns.

Administrative Discretion

Administrators shall have the discretion to send an employee home when warranted by a dress code violation.

Appeal

An employee shall have recourse through the complaints process or a due process hearing through policy DGBA.

La Joya ISD

DH(LOCAL)-X

UPDATE 112

DATE ISSUED: 1/31/2019