Employee Ethics Policy
In keeping with the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Code of Conduct for Adults and the National Catholic Education Association Code of Ethics for Catholic Educators, all employees adhere to the following principles and statements:
I value the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
My primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student’s potential. I will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
I am aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of my colleagues, of students, of parents, and of other members of the community. I will strive to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.
Duty to Report Misconduct - I understand that I have an affirmative duty and legal responsibility to report any alleged instructional or educational support personnel or school administrator misconduct that affects the health, safety or welfare of a student. I also understand that a failure to report such misconduct may result in penalties up to termination of employment and/or revocation of any applicable licenses or certifications. I understand that examples of misconduct that may affect the health, safety or welfare of a student include but are not limited to: drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating, testing violations, physical aggression or accepting favors from students.
- Reporting Misconduct by Instructional or Educational Support Personnel and Administrators - I further agree to abide by the following procedures when reporting alleged misconduct of an instructional or educational support personnel or school administrators:
- Immediately report all allegations or any suspicion of misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student engaged in by any instructional personnel to the school principal, Tommy Bridges, firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Immediately report all allegations or any suspicion of misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student engaged in by any school administrator to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Mr. Mike Juhas, at email@example.com.
- Immediately report all allegations or any suspicion of misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student engaged in by the school principal or supervising principal to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Mr. Mike Juhas, at firstname.lastname@example.org ; and
- Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional or educational support personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are posted at the i.e. bulletin board, front office, break room, etc. on the school’s website at www.trinityknights.org , and on the Diocesan website, https://www.ptdiocese.org/reportabuse/?#html
- Thoroughly document the activities and details of the allegations or event; and secure evidence (if applicable).
- Duty to Report Child Abuse, Abandonment or Neglect - I further understand that I have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to Florida Department of Children and Families either by phone at 1-800-96-ABUSE or online at www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/ .
- Signs of Physical Abuse: The child may have unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, or other injuries; broken bones; or burns. A child experiencing physical abuse may seem withdrawn or depressed, seem afraid to go home or may run away, shy away from physical contact, be aggressive, or wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries.
- Signs of Sexual Abuse: The child may have torn, stained or bloody underwear, trouble walking or sitting, pain or itching in genital area, or a sexually transmitted disease. A child experiencing sexual abuse may have unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively, fear a particular person, seem withdrawn or depressed, gain or lose weight suddenly, shy away from physical contact, or run away from home.
- Signs of Neglect: The child may have unattended medical needs, little or no supervision at home, poor hygiene, or appear underweight. A child experiencing neglect may be frequently tired or hungry, steal food, or appear overly needy for adult attention.
- Patterns of Abuse: Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors. While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported.
- Liability Protections - I understand that consistent with Fla. Stat. 39.203, any person, official or institution, including employees, who report in good faith any instance of misconduct, child abuse, abandonment, or neglect will be immune from any civil or criminal liability. Additionally, as provided by Fla. Stat. 768.095, any employer who discloses information about a former or current employee in response to a request or inquiry is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the employee.
- I further understand that every school that accepts scholarship students under the John McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities (Fla. Stat. § 1002.39) or the Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program (Fla. Stat. § 220.187) or any other scholarship program sponsored by the State of Florida must comply with the terms of the Ethics in Education Act.
- Training Requirement - I acknowledge that all Instructional and Educational Support Personnel and School Administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these Standards of Ethical Conduct.
Additional policies related to standards of ethical conduct for administrators and instructors are available on the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee website at www.ptdiocese.org.