Code of Conduct
CA AB-500 requires private schools that maintain a section on employee interactions with students in its employee code of conduct to disclose those policies. Pursuant to this requirement, the following sections from Wornick’s Employee Handbook are provided here.
Harassment Policy (page 3-4)
Any form of harassment based on race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, family status, political belief, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition or any legally protected characteristics under federal, state, or local law, will not be tolerated and can lead to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Employees are hired, promoted and retained based solely on their abilities. The School believes that its atmosphere should be attractive to all who are involved with School as well as conducive for all employees to carry out their duties without being subjected to offensive behavior. Therefore, it is the policy of the School that no employees shall conduct themselves in a manner that offends other employees or students or their families.
The School also prohibits harassment, disrespectful or unprofessional conduct based on the perception that anyone has any of the listed characteristics or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.
Prohibited harassment, disrespectful or unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following behavior:
- Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations or comments;
- Visual displays such as derogatory and/or sexually-oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings or gestures;
- Physical conduct including assault, unwanted touching, intentionally blocking normal movement or interfering with work because of sex, race or any other protected basis;
- Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment, or to avoid some other loss and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favors;
- Retaliation for reporting or threatening to report harassment;
- Communication via electronic media of any type that includes any conduct that is prohibited by state and/or federal law, or by the School’s policy.
Harassment of Students (page 4-5)
Sexual and other harassment of students by employees are prohibited by law. Employees who suspect a student may have experienced prohibited harassment are obligated to report their concerns to the Head of School or other appropriate School official immediately. All allegations of prohibited harassment or abuse of a student will be reported to the student’s parents and promptly investigated. An employee who knows of or suspects child abuse must also report his or her knowledge or suspicion to the appropriate authorities, as required by law. See Section on Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, for additional information.
Further, the School prohibits sexual harassment and harassment based on a person's race, color, gender, national origin, disability, religion or any other protected class. Employees shall not tolerate harassment of students and shall make reports as required. Employees who suspect a student has been harassed must follow the same procedure as above.
Employee Conduct & Welfare (page 27-28)
Standard of Conduct
All employees of the School are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, both in their relations with parents and other employees, and in their relations with those outside of the School. These standards require honesty, fairness and respect for everyone with whom employees come in contact.
All employees are expected to work together in a cooperative spirit to serve the best interests of the School and to be courteous to parents, students, one another, and the public. Employees are expected to observe the following standards of conduct:
- Recognize and respect rights of students, parents, other employees, and members of the community.
- Maintain confidentiality in all matters relating to students and co-workers.
- Know and comply with the School’s policies and procedures.
- Express concerns, complaints, or criticism through appropriate channels.
- Observe all safety rules and regulations and report injuries or unsafe conditions to the Head of School.
- Use School funds, time, and property for authorized School business and activities only.
All School employees should perform their duties in accordance with state and federal law, School policies and procedures, and ethical standards. Alleged incidents or certain misconduct by educators, including having a criminal record, must be reported to the California State Board of Education. Additional information can be found under the Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse Policy contained in this handbook.
Any violation of these standards may result in discipline or termination. Questions about this policy or employees’ obligations, or to report any suspicious conduct involving anyone at the School, should be directed to a supervisor, Head of School, Principal or any Officer of the Board of Trustees. Employees are not required to complain to their supervisor if that supervisor is the one involved in the suspicious conduct, or if the employee is uncomfortable doing so.
The School strongly disapproves of, and will not tolerate any form of retaliation against an employee who reports a concern about conduct in good faith regarding the School’s operations. Any employee who engages in such retaliation will be subject to discipline, up to, and including termination. Any employee who has made a report of and/or questions suspicious conduct and who subsequently believes he or she has been subjected to retaliation of any kind by any the School employee is encouraged to immediately report it to the Head of School, Principal, or any Officer of the Board of Trustees, as appropriate. Employees are not required to complain to their supervisor if that supervisor is the one suspected of retaliating or, or if the employee is uncomfortable doing so. The party conducting the investigation will notify the employee of the results of the investigation.
Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse Policy
All employees are required by state law to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to a law enforcement agency, Child Protective Services, or appropriate state agency (e.g. state agency operating, licensing, certifying or registering a facility) within 36 hours of the event that led to the suspicion. Reports to Child Protective Services can be made to a local office or to the California Abuse Hotline (800) 632-4615. State law specifies that an employee may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report. Under state law, any person reporting or assisting in the investigation of reported child abuse or neglect is immune from liability unless the report is made in bad faith or with malicious intent. In addition, the School is prohibited from retaliating against an employee who, in good faith, reports child abuse or neglect or who participates in an investigation regarding an allegation of child abuse or neglect.
An employee’s failure to report suspected child abuse may result in prosecution for the commission of a Class B misdemeanor. In addition, a certified employees failure to report suspected child abuse may result in disciplinary procedures as required by Federal and State law for a violation of the Cal Penal Code §§, 11 164-11174.3.
Employees who suspect that a student has been or may be abused or neglected should also report their concerns to the Head of School. This includes students with disabilities who are no longer minors. Employees are not required to report their concern to the Head of School before making a report to the appropriate agencies. In addition, employees must cooperate with child abuse and neglect investigators. Reporting the concern to the Head of School does not relieve the employee of the requirement to report to the appropriate state agency. Interference with a child abuse investigation by denying an interviewer’s request to interview a student at school or requiring the presence of a parent or school administrator against the desires of the duly authorized investigator is prohibited.
The School is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards in all of our business dealings and relationships. This commitment to ethical conduct starts at the highest levels of the organization and extends to every employee, regardless of classification, seniority, or other distinction.
Employees must never engage in behavior described as Prohibited Behavior in this handbook.
Conflict of Interest & Confidentiality (page 31-32)
The purpose of a Conflict of Interest policy is to ensure that deliberations and decisions of the School are conducted in the interest of the School, and not in the private interests and financial benefit of those persons involved in those activities. This policy is intended to supplement, not replace, any applicable laws governing conflict of interest in nonprofit corporations.
Generally, conflict of interest is a concern of all employees, although it may be particularly relevant to those in decision making capacities. Conflict of interest involves actual conduct or actions within and outside of the School facilities and operations as well as the appearance of a conflict or competing interest, whether material or immaterial.
An employee, particularly those who is in a position of trust to influence, vote, or make decisions on School policy, revenue, or expenditures, should exercise their good faith by not directly or indirectly using their position, participation, or knowledge gained from School activities to permit an actual or potential conflict between the School’s interests and personal and professional financial interests and their family members interests. Those employees who may have a direct involvement in these activities will be asked to complete the School Board approved Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy Attestation Statement.
Any employee who has a real, potential, or perceived conflict of interest should notify the Head of School and/or Board President or Officer so that the Board can determine whether this situation or action is a conflict with the interests of the School and any remediation necessary.
In addition, employees should be cautious to always protect confidentiality of School records of any kind, personnel actions and decisions, students’ performance and records, and School operations. All employees should consult and receive written approval and authorization from Administrative staff (e.g., Head of School, Principal, Chief Financial Officer, and Business Manager) and/or School Board officer before communicating, releases, or otherwise divulging of any School information.
Student Issues (page 53)
Equal Educational Opportunities
The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, or disability in providing education services, activities, and programs, including vocational programs, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Questions or concerns about discrimination of students on any of the bases listed above should be directed to the Head of the School or the Business Manager.
Student records are confidential and are protected from unauthorized inspection or use. Employees should take precautions to maintain the confidentiality of all student records.
Administering Medication to Students
Only the School Office Staff can administer medication to students. A student who must take medicine during the School day must bring a written request from his or her parent and the medicine, in its original, properly labeled container.
Students are expected to follow the classroom rules, campus rules, and rules listed in the Student Code of Conduct in the Family Resource Guide. Teachers and administrators are responsible for taking disciplinary action based on a range of discipline management procedures that have been adopted by the School.