Employee Interactions with Pupils

AB500 School Policies that Relate to Employee Interactions with Pupils

Assembly Bill 500 (AB500), effective January 1, 2018, adds section 44050 of the California Education Code, which requires schools to provide the section on employee interactions with pupils in its code of conduct, to parents and guardians of enrolled students on the School’s website. The following shares portions of the School policies, which are included in the New Haven Unified School District’s Employee Handbook, including language relating to interactions between pupils and employees.

Appropriate Professional Boundaries with Children
New Haven Unified School District employees, especially those who work with children, are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and maintain appropriate physical, emotional and sexual boundaries at all times. New Haven employees are never to be alone with a student, and it is expressly prohibited to connect with students using social networking sites, cell phones, or texting. Keeping children safe and providing a safe environment for New Haven Unified students is an essential part of our responsibility as employees.

Violation of professional boundaries with children and incidents of misconduct involving children are taken seriously and will be addressed in a prompt, confidential and thorough manner through the school, the Personnel Office, or the appropriate local authority.

Child Abuse and Sexual Molestation Prevention
The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority at the New Haven Unified School District. Our policy is that all staff has responsibility for preventing and reporting suspected child abuse and sexual molestation. New Haven Unified intends to comply with the provision of California laws. Child abuse and neglect are against the law in California, and so is the failure to report it. Child abuse is defined as mental, emotional, physical, or sexual injury to a child or failure to prevent such injury to a child.

Reporting Procedure:
Any employee suspecting child abuse or neglect is expected to use the following procedures:

  • Do not confront the suspected abuser/molester.
  • Maintain confidentiality. Information about suspected child abuse is only to be given out or discussed on a “need to know” basis and is not to be shared with fellow employees, parents, students, or anyone outside the school other than law enforcement.
  • You must file a report when you have a “reasonable suspicion” that a child is being abused or neglected.
  • Contact local law enforcement for abuse occurring outside the family (sheriff or police).
  • Contact Child Protection Services for abuse occurring inside the family.
  • Child in immediate danger/risk – call local police or sheriff immediately.
  • Leave the investigation to the experts!

Molestation Prevention at School
The New Haven Unified School District expects all employees to limit the opportunities for molestation by responding quickly and appropriately to suspicious situations, and taking actions or filing a report when warranted. Employees are expected to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Avoid any occasion of being alone with a child. Always, have another teacher or adult present or be in an open, public area.
  • Monitor volunteers and visitors to ensure they are never alone with a child.
  • Report any misconduct or questionable behavior.
  • At least two chaperones should accompany students on trips away from school.

New Haven Unified will not knowingly employ anyone who has been convicted of child abuse or sexual molestation. New Haven Unified requires as part of its pre-employment process a background check be conducted on all applicants before an offer of employment is extended. Periodic follow-up background checks are also conducted as part of continuing employment.