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Ethics. Training Module. Ethics. This module will cover the following ethics related topics: Ethical Behavior Standards for Academic Mentors Inappropriate Relationships Safety FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) Confidentiality

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  1. Ethics Training Module

  2. Ethics This module will cover the following ethics related topics: • Ethical Behavior Standards for Academic Mentors • Inappropriate Relationships • Safety • FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) • Confidentiality Adapted from on-line training modules developed by the Weber State University Community Involvement Center, Ogden, Utah.

  3. Ethical Behavior Standards for AcademicMentors Academic Mentors assume the personal obligation to conduct themselves in a manner which is compatible with the hiring District’s role as an institution of public education. When you completed the hiring paperwork for the District, you agreed to maintain certain standards of conduct, which if violated, may result in the imposition of sanctions or other forms of discipline, or termination from the position.  

  4. Code of Conduct Highlights General categories of misconduct for which Academic Mentors may be subjected to discipline, or terminated are listed below: • Conduct which violates federal, state, or local law.   • Conduct which violates XXX District rules or regulations. • Conduct which results in injury or damage to persons affiliated with the XXX District or property owned or controlled by the XXX District.

  5. Code of Conduct Highlights General categories of misconduct for which Academic Mentors may be subjected to discipline or terminated are listed below: • Failing to respect the right of every person to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment, and/or physical harm caused by the activities of groups or individuals.   • Sexual assault, sexual harassment, or any other non-consensual verbal or physical sexual activity, including the support or assistance of such activities. 

  6. Ethical Behavior Standards for AcademicMentors Coordinators – Insert any specific ethical standards for your District here

  7. Inappropriate Relationships Inappropriate relationships hurt everyone involved, especially the students being mentored. It breaks their trust, not only in the school, but in their everyday lives and interactions with adults.

  8. Inappropriate Relationships There are numerous ways in which an inappropriate relationship could take place. Here we will only look at three: sexuall Financial emotional

  9. Inappropriate Relationships Do not meet the individuals you are serving in an isolated area or a private place. This is especially true when you are serving students and minors. For example, academic mentors are not allowed to meet with students anywhere but in designated areas. Students may ask if you can help them somewhere else, or if you can come to their home and provide extra help. In your role as an academic mentor, none of these options is acceptable. You need to be visible in the assigned classroom or area where other mentors are, or where the teacher or GEAR UP Coordinator can see you.

  10. Inappropriate Relationships You should never engage in any form of sexual relationship with the students you are mentoring. Sexual relationships constitute any form of sexual dialogue, contact or harassment. If you are found to be having this type of relationship with a student, you will be removed from the school and could face legal action.

  11. Inappropriate Relationships Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. The legal definition of sexual harassment is “unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.”

  12. Inappropriate Relationships Financial transactions of any kind between you, the academic mentor, and a student are strictly prohibited. You should never ask or accept money from a student for any reason. Example: a student may offer to pay you to do their homework or to lie for them. This type of request is inappropriate and you should make the student aware of that. Also, depending on the situation, you may want to inform your GEAR UP Coordinator.

  13. Inappropriate Relationships When working with minors, in particular, it is especially important that you refrain from creating emotional relationships or becoming “friends” with them. As hard as it may be at times, it is important to remember that you are not friends with these students. You are a mentor and a role model.

  14. Safety Safety needs to be ensured for both you and the students you are serving. Following the ethical guidelines discussed so far – maintaining appropriate relationships –is the first step in creating safe experiences for both you and the students you are serving in the school.

  15. Safety Being a responsible listener is another step you can take to ensure the safety of those you serve. Individuals may say things that signal crisis or a critical situation needing attention. As an Academic Mentor, you are in a position to hear these signals. It is your job to listen, identify if the shared information needs attention and if so, report it to your supervisor. It is NOTyour responsibility to solve crisis situations. It ISyour responsibility to alert your supervisor to a crisis situation.

  16. Safety For example, as an Academic Mentor, you may get to know about some of your students’ personal lives and problems. Many students are under great stress and could say things like "I’m ready to kill myself over this test.” Are these comments jokes, or are they threats? Real threats are often presented as jokes, so stop and think about such comments. They need to be taken seriously. Report any such comment to your supervisor.

  17. Safety If a student says something that indicates they may be considering hurting themselves or others, don’t just let the comment pass. Follow up with "what do you mean?" One indication that an individual is serious would be that they have planned the action in detail. Listen for specific details like, “Sometimes I take more medication than I am supposed to.” Restate what the individual is saying to make sure you understand. If you are worried about an individual’s intentions, do not attempt to intervene personally. If you feel there is an immediate danger, talk with your supervisor.

  18. FERPA FERPA is the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. This act protects the rights of students educational records by limiting who can access student educational records. As an academic mentor, you may have access to student grades and records, so it is important to understand the laws around them.

  19. FERPA Student records are records directly related to a student that have personally-identifiable information such as a name, address, SAIS ID, or School ID, and include: Teacher and/or counselor evaluations, inc. grades  Handwritten or typed information  Attendance records  Psychological records  Test scores  Health information  Application status

  20. FERPA Students’ academic performance is part of their educational records. It is a violation of FERPA to discuss a student’s academic performance with anyone other than the student, or certain school officials (the principle or the student’s teacher).

  21. FERPA Schools cannot use student names, social security numbers, or I.D. numbers when publicly posting grades. The only way for a school to publicly post grades is by assigning each student a unique code for every class. Schools may also send grades by mail in a sealed envelope.

  22. FERPA Exceptions School are allowed to release student information in some circumstances. Those circumstances are considered exceptions to FERPA. Such exceptions include: • Directory information • Emergency situations • Security personnel • Government Agencies

  23. FERPA Exceptions – Directory Information Schools are allowed to publish directory information without parent consent. However, schools must give parents the opportunity to opt out of having such information released. Directory information could include: • Student name • Address • Phone number • E-mail • Honors and awards • Participation in clubs or sports • Date and place of birth

  24. FERPA Exceptions – Emergency Situations In the case of emergency, school officials can allow the appropriate persons access to student records in order to most affectively address the emergency situation.

  25. FERPA Exceptions – Security Personnel If a school has in place security persons or officials employed by criminal justice agencies, FERPA does not apply to them.

  26. FERPA Exceptions – Government Agencies In certain situations schools are allowed to comply with information requests from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau. * NOTE: The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is prohibited from looking over student records in regards to evidence of undocumented status unless given prior permission from a parent.

  27. Confidentiality There are times when a student may disclose certain personal information to you that is not harmful to their well being. An example would be disclosing their grades to you. In those cases you will need to keep the information private. Do not discuss it with family, peers, friends, or other students.


  29. Quiz – 10 Questions • Sexual harassment includes which of the following forms:  Verbal conduct of a sexual nature  Physical conduct of a sexual nature  Visual conduct of a sexual nature  All of the above • What are three types of inappropriate relationships?  Academic, spiritual and financial.  Sexual, financial, and emotional.  Emotional, sexual, and professional.  Financial, professional, and emotional. • You may meet with a student off-campus, if that works best for both of you.  True  False

  30. Quiz • If a student mentions that they sometimes “hurt” themselves, should you report it to a site supervisor?  Yes  No, not unless they are serious  No, it violates confidentiality  I don’t know • An Academic Mentor may give money to a student if he/she know the student is struggling financially.  True  False

  31. Quiz 6. What types of student records are protected by FERPA? Health information Counselor evaluations Attendance and report cards All of the above 7. What is FERPA? An act that limits who can access student educational records. An act that gives schools the right to distribute educational records without parental consent. An act that protects families from negligence that may occur by the school.  An act that prevents parents from suing schools or districts in regards to their student’s educational records

  32. Quiz 8. In which circumstances are schools allowed to release student information? a) When relatives request access b) In emergency situations c) When security personnel request access d)  Both b and c 9. It is permissible to discuss student grades with the student’s teacher.  True  False 10. The only way for a school to publicly post student grades is by assigning each student a unique code for each class.  True  False

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