ERIC Number: ED524151
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 2
Professional Boundaries: The Line Separating Mentor from Molester. A Legal Memorandum: Quarterly Law Topics for School Leaders, Winter 2005
Shoop, Robert J.
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
Boundaries are internally or externally imposed limits that define appropriate relationships between individuals. Many educators do not set clear boundaries between themselves and their students. For example, a conversation with a student about sexually transmitted disease that might be appropriate for a school counselor or school psychologist is likely inappropriate for a classroom teacher. Without a clear district policy combined with an inservice program, some educators drift across professional boundaries. Students often ask trusted educators personal questions or ask for personal advice. It is more appropriate to refer these students to their parents or a trained professional than to engage in these conversations. Even the appearance of impropriety may significantly damage an educator's reputation. The best way for educators to protect themselves from false accusations is to avoid behaviors that could be misconstrued. This issue of "A Legal Memorandum" presents several recommendations that may prevent both the opportunity for molestation and the likelihood that innocent acts that could be misconstrued.
Descriptors: Inservice Teacher Education, School Counselors, Legal Responsibility, Teacher Role, Teacher Behavior, Sexual Abuse, Teacher Student Relationship, Secondary School Teachers, Secondary School Students, Administrator Role, Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site: http://www.nassp.org
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals