The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

3210.01 - CODE OF ETHICS

All members of the School Board, administrators, teachers and all other employees of the District, regardless of their position, because of their dual roles as public servants and educators are to be bound by the following Code of Ethics. Adherence to the Code of Ethics will create an environment of honesty and integrity and will aid in achieving the common mission of providing a safe and high quality education to all District students.

As stated in the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida (State Board of Education F.A.C. 6A-10.081):

 A.The educator values 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.

 B.The educator’s primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student’s potential. The educator will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.

 C.Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, students, parents, and other members of the community, the educator strives to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.

Further, nonacademic and elected officials are bound to accept these principles since these groups reflect critical policy direction and support services for the essential academic purpose.

Application

This Code of Ethics applies to all members of the Board, administrators, teachers, and all other employees regardless of full or part time status. It also applies to all persons who receive any direct economic benefit such as membership in Board funded insurance programs.

Employees are subject to various other laws, rules, and regulations including but not limited to The Code of Ethics for the Education Profession in Florida and the Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida, F.A.C. Chapter 6A-10.081, the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, found in F.S. Chapter 112, Part III, and Policy 3129, which are incorporated by reference and this Code of Ethics should be viewed as additive to these laws, rules and regulations. To the extent not in conflict with any laws, Board policies, or governmental regulations, this Code of Ethics shall control with regard to conduct. In the event of any conflict, the law, regulation, or Board policy shall control.

Fundamental Principles

The fundamental principles upon which this Code of Ethics is predicated are as follows:

 A.Citizenship – Helping to create a society based upon democratic values (e.g., rule of law, equality of opportunity, due process, reasoned argument, representative government, checks and balances, rights and responsibilities, and democratic decision-making).

 B.Cooperation – Working together toward goals as basic as human survival in an increasingly interdependent world.

 C.Fairness – Treating people impartially, not playing favorites, being open-minded, and maintaining an objective attitude toward those whose actions and ideas are different from our own.

 D.Honesty – Dealing truthfully with people, being sincere, not deceiving them nor stealing from them, not cheating nor lying.

 E.Integrity – Standing up for their beliefs about what is right and what is wrong and resisting social pressure to do wrong.

 F.Kindness – Being sympathetic, helpful, compassionate, benevolent, agreeable, and gentle toward people and other living things.

 G.Pursuit of Excellence – Doing their best with their talents, striving toward a goal, and not giving up.

 H.Respect – Showing regard for the worth and dignity of someone or something, being courteous and polite, and judging all people on their merits. It takes three (3) major forms: respect for oneself, respect for other people, and respect for all forms of life and the environment.

 I.Responsibility – Thinking before acting and being accountable for their actions, paying attention to others and responding to their needs. Responsibility emphasizes our positive obligations to care for each other.

Each employee agrees and pledges:

 A.To abide by this Code of Ethics, making the well-being of the students and the honest performance of professional duties core guiding principles.

 B.To obey local, State, and national laws, codes and regulations.

 C.To support the principles of due process to protect the civil and human rights of all individuals.

 D.To treat all persons with respect and to strive to be fair in all matters.

 E.To take responsibility and be accountable for his/her actions.

 F.To avoid conflicts of interest or any appearance of impropriety.

 G.To cooperate with others to protect and advance the District and its students.

 H.To be efficient and effective in the performance of job duties.

Conflicts of Interest

Employees shall employ independent objective judgment in performing their duties, deciding all matters on the merits, free of partiality or prejudice and unimpeded by conflicts of interest or other improper influences. No employee shall engage in conduct which creates a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest shall be defined as a situation in which regard for a private interest tends to lead to disregard of a public duty or interest. A conflict of interest shall exist upon use by an employee of the authority of his/her office or the use of any confidential information received through his/her employment for the private pecuniary benefit of the employee, or the employee’s immediate family or a business with which the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family has employment or ownership worth $5,000 or more, either directly or indirectly, without disclosure to the appropriate District official.

 A.Financial Interest. Except as authorized in any collective bargaining agreement, an employee shall not engage, or have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, in any business, transaction or professional entity, either as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, or manager in that entity, which conflicts with or impairs the proper discharge of official duties or which could bring disfavor or disrespect upon the employee or the District. Any provision of this code which requires disclosure to District officials will be satisfied by the filing of a financial disclosure statement in the form required of members of the Board.

 B.Contracting Decisions. An employee shall not recommend, vote, or otherwise participate in the decision to make any contract between the District and any business or entity in which the employee has a personal or financial conflict of interest. This includes contractual relationships with units of government as well as for profit and not for profit organizations such as charter schools.

 C.Financial Conflict. An employee who has a financial conflict of interest because of a relationship with a business, governmental agency or not for profit institution must recuse himself/herself from any decision concerning that entity including any decision to contract or not to contract with the entity and the administration of the contract. The reason for such recusal must be stated in writing and filed with the Superintendent and the Board Attorney prior to or at the time of the action requiring the recusal.

 D.Honoraria. An employee will not solicit or accept an honorarium, which is related to the employee’s job duties. "Honorarium" shall be defined consistent with F.S. 112.3149, as a payment of money or anything of value paid to the employee or on his/her behalf as consideration for an oral presentation or writing other than a book.

 E.Personal Advertisements. An employee shall not advertise business or professional activities on school property or use schoolwork hours, property or services to perform or promote personal, not for profit, or commercial enterprises or to campaign or raise money for any candidates for political office.

 F.Employee Publications. An employee shall not participate in the review and approval of publications or materials for School District purchase by the office in which the employee is employed if the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family is the author/editor of or has any financial interest in the sale of such publications or materials.

 G.Referrals. In no situation, shall an employee refer a parent or student to a service, service provider, or product in return for anything of value. Officers or employees making referrals as part of their official duties shall make referrals to more than one provider of the service or product, if available. For example, school counselors shall refer parents or students to more than one counselor or provider of medical services, if available. Additionally, an employee shall not refer a parent or student to any service, service provider, or product in which that employee has a financial interest, without first disclosing that interest to the parent or student.

 H.Outside Income. Employees shall not accept any outside earned income in any situation where a reasonable person in the community could conclude that the receipt of the income would be inconsistent, incompatible or in conflict with the employee’s official duties.

 I.General Limitation on Solicitation. An employee shall not solicit, directly or indirectly any payments or other benefits under circumstances that would create in the mind of a reasonable person in the community the belief that such payments or benefits were provided with the intent to improperly influence the employee’s actions. This provision does not apply to lawful campaign contributions.

 J.Gifts and Gratuities. The acceptance of gifts, payments or other benefits from those with whom the District does business, regardless of profit or not for profit status, can be improper. A gift is defined as anything of value that an employee receives, or that is paid or given to another on an employee’s behalf without any payment or consideration received in return. Examples of gifts are tickets to sporting or cultural events, items of food, meals which cannot be immediately consumed such as a holiday party, use of facilities, forgiveness of debts, interests in real property, investments, or merchandise, or a rebate or discount (unless the rebate or discount is normally given to any member of the public). Employees who are in the position to make or influence a decision to spend school funds shall not solicit or accept any personal gifts, favors, or benefits of more than nominal value during a calendar year from any single person or organization that might benefit from the employee’s decision. This provision does not apply to: (a) meals provided at an event at which the employee participates in a seminar or similar activity; (b) travel expenses and meals paid by a local, state, federal or foreign government agency; or (c) lawful campaign contributions.

Conduct Regarding Students

Each employee:

 A.shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental and/or physical health and/or safety;

 B.shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning;

 C.shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view;

 D.shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s academic program;

 E.shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement;

 F.shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights;

 G.shall not harass or discriminate against any student on any basis prohibited by the Board or law and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment and discrimination;

 H.shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage;

 I.shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.

Personnel Matters

 A.Confidentiality. An educator shall comply with State and Federal laws and regulations, and Board policies relating to the confidentiality of student records. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, sharing of confidential information concerning student academic and disciplinary records, personal confidences, health or medical information, family status and/or income, and assessment/testing results.

 B.Enforcement. Enforcement will be pursuant to State law and to Board policies, which may include penalties for violations of the Code of Ethics that will be imposed pursuant to the applicable State law or Board policy.

 C.Certification. Each employee will be required to electronically sign a Certificate attached as Exhibit "A", which is incorporated by reference, certifying that the employee has read, understands, and agrees to abide by this Code of Ethics as well as the state laws and Board policies and regulations cited in the Code. A failure to sign the Certificate will not excuse a failure to comply with the Code of Ethics. The certification shall be submitted according to a process determined by the Office of Human Resources, Recruiting, and Performance Management. Infractions shall be reported to the Office of Human Resources, Recruiting, and Performance Management and the Office of the Inspector General.

EXHIBIT A

 

CERTIFICATE

I, the undersigned, _____________________________________________________

 

(Print your name)

hereby certifies as follows:

 

I have received copies of Policy 3210.01, which incorporates by reference The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, F.S. Chapter 112, Part III, The Code of Ethics and the Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida and Policy 3129 collectively referred to as the "policy"). I have read and understand the policy.

 

Date: ____________________________

___________________________________________

 

Online Signature

Technical Change 3/17/17

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