Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida
Rule 6A-10.081, Florida Administrative Code, Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida.
(1) Florida educators shall be guided by the following ethical principles:
(a) The educator values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
(b) The educator’s primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student’s potential. The educator will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
(c) Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, of students, of parents, and of other members of the community, the educator strives to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.
(2) Florida educators shall comply with the following disciplinary principles. Violation of any of these principles shall subject the individual to revocation or suspension of the individual educator’s certificate, or the other penalties as provided by law.
(a) Obligation to the student requires that the individual:
1. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental and/or physical health and/or safety.
2. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.
3. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view.
4. Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s academic program.
5. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.
6. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights.
7. Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination.
8. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.
9. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
(b) Obligation to the public requires that the individual:
1. Shall take reasonable precautions to distinguish between personal views and those of any educational institution or organization with which the individual is affiliated.
2. Shall not intentionally distort or misrepresent facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression.
3. Shall not use institutional privileges for personal gain or advantage.
4. Shall accept no gratuity, gift, or favor that might influence professional judgment.
5. Shall offer no gratuity, gift, or favor to obtain special advantages.
(c) Obligation to the profession of education requires that the individual:
1. Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
2. Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition if otherwise qualified, or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization.
3. Shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities.
4. Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
5. Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.
6. Shall not use coercive means or promise special treatment to influence professional judgments of colleagues.
7. Shall not misrepresent one’s own professional qualifications.
8. Shall not submit fraudulent information on any document in connection with professional activities.
9. Shall not make any fraudulent statement or fail to disclose a material fact in one’s own or another’s application for a professional position.
10. Shall not withhold information regarding a position from an applicant or misrepresent an assignment or conditions of employment.
11. Shall provide upon the request of the certificated individual a written statement of specific reason for recommendations that lead to the denial of increments, significant changes in employment, or termination of employment.
12. Shall not assist entry into or continuance in the profession of any person known to be unqualified in accordance with these Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida and other applicable Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules.
13. Shall self-report within forty-eight (48) hours to appropriate authorities (as determined by district) any arrests/charges involving the abuse of a child or the sale and/or possession of a controlled substance. Such notice shall not be considered an admission of guilt nor shall such notice be admissible for any purpose in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory. In addition, shall self-report any conviction, finding of guilt, withholding of adjudication, commitment to a pretrial diversion program, or entering of a plea of guilty or Nolo Contendere for any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation within forty-eight (48) hours after the final judgment. When handling sealed and expunged records disclosed under this rule, school districts shall comply with the confidentiality provisions of Sections 943.0585(4)(c) and 943.059(4)(c), F.S.
14. Shall report to appropriate authorities any known allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), F.S.
15. Shall seek no reprisal against any individual who has reported any allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), F.S.
16. Shall comply with the conditions of an order of the Education Practices Commission imposing probation, imposing a fine, or restricting the authorized scope of practice.
17. Shall, as the supervising administrator, cooperate with the Education Practices Commission in monitoring the probation of a subordinate.
Rulemaking Authority 1001.02, 1012.795(1)(j) FS. Law Implemented 1012.795 FS. History–New 7-6-82, Amended 12-20-83, Formerly 6B-1.06, Amended 8-10-92, 12-29-98, Formerly 6B-1.006, Amended 3-23-16.