Educational Purpose – A reason associated with the staff member's duties in the district including,
but not limited to: counseling, the treatment of a student's physical injury, or coordination of an
extracurricular activity, depending on the staff member's job description.
Staff Member – For the purposes of this policy, a staff member is any individual employed by the
district, including part-time and substitute employees and student teachers.
Student – Individuals currently enrolled in the North Kansas City School District.
Staff members are expected to maintain courteous and professional relationships with students. All
staff members have a responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning through
consistently and fairly applied discipline and the maintenance of physical and emotional boundaries
with students. These boundaries must be maintained regardless of the student's age, the location of
the activity, whether the student allegedly consents to the relationship or whether the staff member
directly supervises the student. Maintaining these boundaries is an essential requirement for
employment in the district.
Although this policy applies to the relationships between staff members and district students, staff
members who inappropriately interact with any child may be disciplined or terminated when the
district determines such action is necessary to protect students.
There are some interactions between staff members and students that are never acceptable and are
absolutely prohibited including, but not limited to:
1. Touching, caressing, fondling or kissing students in a sexual or sexually intimate manner.
2. Dating a student or discussing or planning a future romantic or sexual relationship with a
student. The district may presume that this provision has been violated if a staff member
begins a dating or sexual relationship with a student immediately after graduation or
immediately after a student has left the district.
3. Making sexual advances toward a student or engaging in a sexual relationship with a
4. Engaging in any conduct that constitutes illegal harassment or discrimination as defined in
policy AC or that could constitute a violation of that policy if pervasive.
5. Engaging in any conduct that violates Board policies, regulations or procedures or
constitutes criminal behavior.
Exceptions to Policy GBH
The goal of this policy is to protect students from harm and staff members from allegations of
misconduct by requiring staff members to maintain professional boundaries with students. The
district does not intend to interfere with or impede appropriate interactions between staff members
An emergency situation or an educational purpose might justify deviation from some of the
professional boundaries set out in this policy. Likewise, staff members might be related to students
or have contact with students outside the school environment through friends, neighborhood or
community activities, or participation in civic, religious or other organizations. These contacts
might justify deviation from some of the standards set in this policy, but under no circumstance will
an educational or other purpose justify deviating from the "Absolute Prohibitions" section of this
The staff member must be prepared to articulate the reason for any deviation from the requirements
of this policy and must demonstrate that he or she has maintained an appropriate relationship with
the student. To avoid confusion, the district encourages staff members to consult with their
supervisors prior to engaging in behaviors or activities that might violate professional boundaries
as defined in this policy.
Failure to Maintain Boundaries
Unless an educational purpose exists or an exception as defined in this policy applies, examples of
situations where professional physical and emotional boundaries are violated include, but are not
1. Being alone with a student in a room with a closed or locked door or with the lights off.
Counselors or others who need to work with students confidentially must discuss with their
supervisors the appropriate manner of meeting with students.
2. Associating with students in any setting where students are provided, are consuming or are
encouraged to use or consume alcohol, tobacco, drugs or any other product or service
prohibited to minors.
3. Communicating with students about sexual topics verbally or by any form of written,
pictorial or electronic communication.
4. Discussing the staff member's personal problems with or in the presence of students.
5. Sponsoring parties for students outside of school unless as part of an extracurricular activity
that is appropriately supervised by additional staff members.
6. Inviting students to the staff member's home.
7. Being present when students are fully or partially nude.
8. Sending students on personal errands.
9. Allowing a student to drive the staff member's vehicle.
10. Providing a student (other than the staff member's children, stepchildren or other children
living in the staff member's home) transportation in the staff member's personal vehicle
without a supervisor's approval, unless another staff member or the student's parent/guardian
is also present in the vehicle.
11. Allowing any student to engage in behavior that would not be tolerated if done by other
similarly situated students.
12. Giving gifts to individual students.
13. Frequently pulling a student from another class or activity to be with the staff member.
Staff members are encouraged to communicate with students and parents/guardians for educational
purposes using a variety of effective methods, including electronic communication. As with other
forms of communication, staff members must maintain professional boundaries with students while
using electronic communication regardless of whether the communication methods are provided
by the district or the staff member uses his or her own personal electronic communication devices,
accounts, webpages or other forms of electronic communication.
The district's policies, regulations, procedures and expectations regarding in-person communications
at school and during the school day also apply to electronic communications for educational
purposes, regardless of when those communications occur. Staff communications must be
professional, and student communications must be appropriate. Staff members may only
communicate with students electronically for educational purposes. Staff members may use
electronic communication with students only as frequently as necessary to accomplish the
1. When communicating electronically with students for educational purposes, staff members
must use district-provided devices, accounts and forms of communication (such as
computers, phones, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and district-sponsored webpages
or social networking sites), when available. If district-provided devices, accounts and forms
of communication are unavailable, staff members communicating electronically with
students must do so in accordance with number two below. Staff members may
communicate with students using district-provided forms of communication without first
obtaining supervisor approval. These communications may be subject to review as deemed
appropriate by school officials. With district permission, staff members may establish
websites or other accounts on behalf of the district that enable communications between
staff members and students or parents/guardians. Any such website or account is considered
district sponsored and must be professional and conform to all district policies, regulations
2. A staff member's supervisor may authorize a staff member to communicate with students
using the staff member's personal telephone numbers, addresses, webpages or accounts
(including, but not limited to, accounts used for texting) to organize or facilitate a
district-sponsored class or activity if the communication is determined necessary or
beneficial, if a district-sponsored form of communication is not available, and if the
communication is related to the class or activity. The district will provide notification to the
parents/guardians of students participating in classes or activities for which personal
electronic communications occurs. Staff members will be required to send the
communications simultaneously to the supervisor, supervisor designee, parent or guardian.
Staff members are required to provide their supervisors with all education-related
communications with district students upon request.
3. Staff use of any electronic communication is subject to the district's policies, regulations and
procedures including, but not limited to, policies, regulations, procedures and legal
requirements governing the confidentiality and release of information about identifiable
students. Employees who obtain pictures or other information about identifiable students
through their connections with the district are prohibited from posting such pictures or
information on personal websites or personal social networking websites without permission
from a supervisor.
4. The district discourages staff members from communicating with students electronically for
reasons other than educational purposes. When an electronic communication is not for
educational purposes, the section of this policy titled "Exceptions to This Policy" applies,
and if concerns are raised, the staff member must be prepared to demonstrate that the
communications are appropriate. This policy does not limit staff members from
communicating with their children, stepchildren or other persons living within the staff
member’s home who happen to be students of the district.
Staff members who violate this policy will be disciplined, up to and including termination of
employment. Depending on the circumstances, the district may report staff members to law
enforcement and the Children's Division (CD) of the Department of Social Services for further
investigation, and the district may seek revocation of a staff member's license(s) with the
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Any person, including a student, who has concerns about or is uncomfortable with a relationship or
activities between a staff member and a student should bring this concern immediately to the
attention of the principal, counselor or staff member's supervisor. If illegal discrimination or
harassment is suspected, the process in policy AC will be followed.
Any staff member who possesses knowledge or evidence of possible violations of this policy must
immediately make a report to the district's administration. All staff members who know or have
reasonable cause to suspect child abuse shall immediately report the suspected abuse in accordance
with Board policy. Staff members must also immediately report a violation or perceived violation
of the district's discrimination and harassment policy (AC) to the district's nondiscrimination
compliance officer. Staff members may be disciplined for failing to make such reports.
The district will not discipline, terminate or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a staff
member for reporting in good faith any action that may be a violation of this policy.
The district will provide training to district staff that includes current and reliable information on
identifying signs of sexual abuse in children and potentially abusive relationships between children
and adults. The training will emphasize legal reporting requirements and cover how to establish an
atmosphere where students feel comfortable discussing matters related to abuse.
* * * * * * *
Note: The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section
for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for
Revised: 09/14/2004; 06/08/2010; 10/26/2010; 02/13/2012
Cross Refs: AC, Prohibition against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
EHB, Technology Usage
JG, Student Discipline
JHG, Reporting and Investigating Child Abuse/Neglect
Legal Refs: §§ 162.069, 168.114, 210.115, RSMo.
Ross v. Robb, 662 S.W.2d 257 (1983)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681
Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ., 526 U.S. 629 (1999)
Gebser v. Lago Vista Ind. Sch. Dist., 524 U.S. 274 (1998)
North Kansas City School District, Kansas City, Missouri
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