Adult - Student Boundary Policy

To comply with safe legal practice, the school's adult-student boundary policy is posted here for public viewing.

Trū encourages friendly, supportive relationships between community members, including staff and students. Interactions between staff and students must always be professional and appropriate, whether on campus or away from campus, and staff are responsible for keeping them that way. For purposes of this policy the term “staff” also includes volunteers.

This policy is not intended to restrict warm and supportive relationships between staff and students, which are desirable in an educational environment. Positive and supportive relationships may include strong appreciation, expressions of care such as brief hugs, physical comfort for children in distress, and appropriate one-on-one support with the knowledge of the school. This policy is intended to prevent staff/student interactions that could lead to, or may be perceived as, flirtatious, sexually suggestive, unfair, or otherwise inappropriate.

Staff must take care to avoid any conduct that is not professional or appropriate staff/student interaction or could be perceived as such. Below are the rules employees must follow. These rules are not an exhaustive list of prohibited staff conduct, but rather a general framework for describing inappropriate staff-student interaction.

1. Appropriate Interactions

In general, any interaction with a student should be something an staff would feel comfortable saying or doing in front of that student’s parents and the staff’s supervisor.

– Staff must avoid creating excessive emotional attachments beyond the healthy employee/student relationship.
– Staff must use sound judgment as to how much information they share with students about their own personal life, and may not share information for their own personal emotional gratification.
– Staff should consult their supervisor without delay if a student is or seems to be pushing the staff member’s personal boundaries, attempting to establish an inappropriate relationship, or it appears another type of problem is beginning to emerge.
– Staff must avoid any special relationships with students or the appearance of one, including secret exchanges or confidences.

2. Favoritism or Special Treatment

Staff are expected to treat students and families fairly without favoritism, and families are expected to support this treatment. Staff must work against any expectation or appearance of unfair special treatment. Staff may not buy or give personal gifts to individual students. Consistent with this policy, employees are prohibited from performing any outside services, including, but not limited to, tutoring and childcare without authorization from the Head of School.

3. Communication

Staff member communications with students (e.g., notes, email, texts or other electronic exchanges, or phone calls) must be professional and appropriate in all respects. This means that staff member communications must only contain appropriate, school-related content and must take place at times of the day that are appropriate under the circumstances. Such communication should take place only with the parents’ knowledge. This also means that staff member communications with students must take place using school-owned technology unless prior authorization has been obtained from the school and the parents or in the case of emergency. Staff may not make jokes, use slang, or suggestive comments or innuendo of a sexual or discriminatory nature in communicating with students (or at any other time at work).

4. Meetings with Students

When meeting with a student one-on-one, a staff member must balance potential privacy concerns with appropriate professionalism and should avoid meeting in locations that are closed off or not visible or accessible to others. Staff are prohibited from meeting with students off campus unless it is a pre-approved School activity with other individuals present, or as otherwise authorized by the head of school. If a staff member is meeting off campus with students to plan school events or gatherings, the staff member must first obtain the permission of the school administration and the student’s parent or guardian.

5. Duty to Report

If a staff member encounters a difficult situation related to boundaries, the staff member should ask for advice from a supervisor or the head of school. When any staff member becomes aware of another staff member crossing appropriate boundaries with a student, the staff member must report the matter to the head of school. In some circumstances, staff also have the duty to report such conduct in accordance with the mandated reporter requirements. Trū prohibits retaliation against anyone who raises a concern about suspected violations of this policy. Any staff member who engages in retaliation will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.