The Educators’ Code of Ethics, adopted by the State Board for Educator Certification, which all district employees must adhere to, is reprinted below:
Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics
Statement of Purpose
The Texas educator shall comply with standard practices and ethical conduct toward students, professional colleagues, school officials, parents, and members of the community and shall safeguard academic freedom. The Texas educator, in maintaining the dignity of the profession, shall respect and obey the law, demonstrate personal integrity, and exemplify honesty and good moral character. The Texas educator, in exemplifying ethical relations with colleagues, shall extend just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession. The Texas educator, in accepting a position of public trust, shall measure success by the progress of each student toward realization of his or her potential as an effective citizen. The Texas educator, in fulfilling responsibilities in the community, shall cooperate with parents and others to improve the public schools of the community. (19 TAC 247.1(b))
1. Professional Ethical Conduct, Practices, and Performance
Standard 1.1 The educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engage in deceptive practices regarding official policies of the school district, educational institution, educator preparation program, the Texas Education Agency, or the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and its certification process.
Standard 1.2 The educator shall not knowingly misappropriate, divert, or use monies, personnel, property, or equipment committed to his or her charge for personal gain or advantage.
Standard 1.3 The educator shall not submit fraudulent requests for reimbursement, expenses, or pay.
Standard 1.4 The educator shall not use institutional or professional privileges for personal or partisan advantage.
Standard 1.5 The educator shall neither accept nor offer gratuities, gifts, or favors that impair professional judgment or to obtain special advantage. This standard shall not restrict the acceptance of gifts or tokens offered and accepted openly from students, parents of students, or other persons or organizations in recognition or appreciation of service.
Standard 1.6 The educator shall not falsify records, or direct or coerce others to do so.
Standard 1.7 The educator shall comply with state regulations, written local school board policies, and other state and federal laws.
Standard 1.8 The educator shall apply for, accept, offer, or assign a position or a responsibility on the basis of professional qualifications.
Standard 1.9 The educator shall not make threats of violence against school district employees, school board members, students, or parents of students.
Standard 1.10 The educator shall be of good moral character and be worthy to instruct or supervise the youth of this state.
Standard 1.11 The educator shall not intentionally or knowingly misrepresent his or her employment history, criminal history, and/or disciplinary record when applying for subsequent employment.
Standard 1.12 The educator shall refrain from the illegal use or distribution of controlled substances and/or abuse of prescription drugs and toxic inhalants.
Standard 1.13 The educator shall not consume alcoholic beverages on school property or during school activities when students are present.
2. Ethical Conduct toward Professional Colleagues
Standard 2.1 The educator shall not reveal confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law.
Standard 2.2 The educator shall not harm others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system.
Standard 2.3 The educator shall adhere to written local school board policies and state and federal laws regarding the hiring, evaluation, and dismissal of personnel.
Standard 2.4 The educator shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political, professional, or citizenship rights and responsibilities.
Standard 2.5 The educator shall not discriminate against or coerce a colleague on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, family status, or sexual orientation.
Standard 2.6 The educator shall not use coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions or colleagues.
Standard 2.7 The educator shall not retaliate against any individual who has filed a complaint with the SBEC or provides information for a disciplinary investigation or proceeding under this chapter.
3. Ethical Conduct toward Students
Standard 3.1 The educator shall not reveal confidential information concerning students unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law.
Standard 3.2 The educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly treat a student or minor in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning, physical health, mental health, or safety of the student or minor.
Standard 3.3 The educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly misrepresent facts regarding a student.
Standard 3.4 The educator shall not exclude a student from participation in a program, deny benefits to a student, or grant an advantage to a student on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, national origin, religion, family status, or sexual orientation.
Standard 3.5 The educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engage in physical mistreatment, neglect, or abuse of a student or minor.
Standard 3.6 The educator shall not solicit or engage in sexual conduct or a romantic relationship with a student or minor.
Standard 3.7 The educator shall not furnish alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any person under 21 years of age unless the educator is a parent or guardian of that child or knowingly allow any person under 21 years of age unless the educator is a parent or guardian of that child to consume alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs in the presence of the educator.
Standard 3.8 The educator shall maintain appropriate professional educator-student relationships and boundaries based on a reasonably prudent educator standard.
Standard 3.9 The educator shall refrain from inappropriate communication with a student or minor, including, but not limited to, electronic communication such as cell phone, text messaging, email, instant messaging, blogging, or other social network communication. Factors that may be considered in assessing whether the communication is inappropriate include, but are not limited to:
(i) the nature, purpose, timing, and amount of the communication;
(ii) the subject matter of the communication;
(iii) whether the communication was made openly or the educator attempted to conceal the communication;
(iv) whether the communication could be reasonably interpreted as soliciting sexual contact or a romantic relationship;
(v) whether the communication was sexually explicit; and
(vi) whether the communication involved discussion(s) of the physical or sexual attractiveness or the sexual history, activities, preferences, or fantasies of either the educator or the student.