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5253 (P) - Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries




The purpose of this policy is to provide all staff, students, volunteers and community members with information to increase their awareness of their role in protecting children from inappropriate conduct and boundary invasions by adults. The provisions of this policy apply to all district staff and volunteers relative to their conduct with students. For the purposes of this policy, staff and volunteers are referred to as “adults.”

General Standards

The board expects all staff members and volunteers to maintain the highest professional, moral and ethical standards in their interaction with students. Adults are required to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning, through consistently and fairly applied discipline and established and maintained professional boundaries.
The interactions and relationships between adults and students should be based upon mutual respect and trust, an understanding of the appropriate boundaries between adults and students in and outside of the educational setting, and consistent with the educational mission of the district.

Adults will not intrude on a student’s physical and emotional boundaries unless the intrusion is necessary to serve a demonstrated educational purpose. An educational purpose is one that relates to the adult’s duties in the district. Additionally, adults are expected to be aware of the appearance of impropriety in their own conduct and the conduct of other adults when interacting with students. Adults will notify and discuss issues with their building administrator or supervisor whenever they suspect or question whether their own or another adult’s conduct is inappropriate or constitutes a violation of this policy.

Use of Technology

The board supports the use of technology to communicate for educational purposes. However, district employees are prohibited from inappropriate online socializing or from engaging in any conduct on social networking websites that violates the law, district policies or other generally recognized professional standards. Employees whose conduct violates this policy may face discipline and/or termination, consistent with the district’s policies, acceptable use agreement and collective bargaining agreements, as applicable.

The superintendent/designee will develop protocols for reporting and investigating allegations and develop procedures and training to accompany this policy. 

Legal References:



Crimes against children — Mandatory termination of classified employees — Appeal — Recovery of salary or compensation by district


Crimes against children — Mandatory termination of certificated employees — Appeal — Recovery of salary or compensation by district


Termination of certificated employee based on guilty plea or conviction of certain felonies — Notice to superintendent of public instruction - Record of notices


Revocation or suspension of certificate or permit to teach — Criminal basis — Complaints — Investigation - Process


Violation or noncompliance — Investigatory powers of superintendent of public instruction — Requirements for investigation of alleged sexual misconduct towards a child — Court orders — Contempt — Written findings required


Revocation of authority to teach — Hearings


Chapter 181-87

Professional certification — Acts of unprofessional

Chapter 181-88

Definitions of sexual misconduct, verbal and physical abuse - Mandatory disclosure — Prohibited agreements


Adopted: May 16, 2017

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

SS-logo-alert-transparent Safe Schools Tip Line: 855.976.8772