Employee Ethics; Code of Professional Conduct; and Conflict of Interest

Professional and Appropriate Conduct

All District employees are expected to maintain high standards in their school relationships, to demonstrate integrity and honesty, to be considerate and cooperative, and to maintain professional and appropriate relationships with students, parents/guardians, staff members, and others. In addition, the Code of Ethics for Illinois Educators, adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education, is incorporated by reference into this policy. Any employee who sexually harasses a student, willfully or negligently fails to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, or otherwise violates an employee conduct standard will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide this policy to all District employees and students and/or parents/guardians in their respective handbooks, if any, and have it posted on the District’s website.

Professional and Appropriate Conduct

Professional and appropriate employee conduct are important Board goals that impact the quality of a safe learning environment and the school community, increasing students’ ability to learn and the District’s ability to educate. To protect students from sexual misconduct by employees, and employees from the appearance of impropriety, state law also recognizes the importance for District employees to constantly maintain professional and appropriate relationships with students by following established expectations and guidelines for employee-student boundaries.

The Superintendent or designee shall identify employee conduct standards that define appropriate employee-student boundaries, and communicate them to all District employees. The employee conduct standards will require that, at a minimum:

  1. Employees who are governed by the Code of Ethics for Illinois Educators, adopted by the Ill. State Board of Education (ISBE), will comply with its incorporation by reference into this policy.
  2. Employees complete required training on educator ethics, child abuse, grooming behaviors, and employee-student boundary violations as required by law and policies 2:265, 4:165, 5:90, and 5:100.
  3. Employees maintain professional relationships with students, including maintaining employee-student boundaries based upon students’ ages, grade levels, and developmental levels and following District-established guidelines for specific situations, including but not limited to:
    1. Transporting a student;
    2. Taking or possessing a photo or video of a student; and
    3. Meeting with a student or contacting a student outside the employee’s professional role.
  4. Employees comply with reporting requirements of Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILCS 5/), Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.) and report prohibited behaviors and/or boundary violations pursuant to Board policies 2:260, 2:265, and 5:90.
  5. Employees be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal for any employee who violates an employee conduct standard or engages in any of the following:
    1. Violates boundaries for appropriate school employee-student conduct or expectations and guidelines for employee-student boundaries.
    2. Sexually harasses a student.
    3. Willfully or negligently fails to follow reporting requirements of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILCS 5/) or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.).
    4. Engages in grooming as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-25.
    5. Engages in grooming behaviors. Prohibited grooming behaviors include, at a minimum, sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is any act, including but not limited to, any verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication or physical activity, by an employee with direct contact with a student, that is directed toward or with a student to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the student. Examples include, but are not limited to:
      1. A sexual or romantic invitation.
      2. Dating or soliciting a date.
      3. Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialog.
      4. Making sexually suggestive comments that are directed toward or with a student.
      5. Self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic, or erotic nature.
      6. A sexual, indecent, romantic, or erotic contact with the student.

Statements of Economic Interest

The following employees must file a "Statement of Economic Interests" as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act:

  1. Superintendent;
  2. Building Principal;
  3. Head of any department;
  4. Any employee responsible for negotiating one or more contracts, including collective bargaining agreement(s), in the amount of $1,000 or greater;
  5. Hearing officer;
  6. Any employee having supervisory authority for 20 or more employees; and
  7. Any employee in a position that requires an administrative or a chief school business official endorsement;


Ethics and Gift Ban

Board Policy 2:105, Ethics and Gift Ban, applies to all District employees. Students shall not be used in any manner for promoting a political candidate or issue.

Prohibited Interests; Conflict of Interest; and Limitation of Authority

In accordance with 105 ILCS 5/22-5 of the School Code, “no school officer or teacher shall be interested in the sale, proceeds, or profits of any book, apparatus, or furniture used or to be used in any school with which such officer or teacher may be connected,” except when the employee is the author or developer of instructional materials listed with ISBE and adopted for use by the Board. An employee having an interest in instructional materials must file an annual statement with the Board Secretary.

For the purpose of acquiring profit or personal gain, no employee shall act as an agent of the District nor shall an employee act as an agent of any business in any transaction with the District. This includes participation in the selection, award or administration of a contract supported by a federal award or state award governed by the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) (30 ILCS 708/) when the employee has a real or apparent conflict of interest. A conflict of interest arises when an employee or any of the following individuals has a financial or other interest in or a tangible benefit from the entity selected for the contract:

  1. Any member of the employee’s immediate family or household;
  2. An employee’s partner; or
  3. An entity that employs or is about to employ the employee or one of the individuals listed in one or two above.

Employees shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors, or parties to agreements or subcontracts. Situations in which the interest is not substantial or the gift is an unsolicited item of nominal value must comply with state law and Board policy 2:105, Ethics and Gift Ban.

Outside Employment

Employees shall not engage in any other employment or in any private business during regular working hours or at such other times as are necessary to fulfill appropriate assigned duties.

Adopted: July 26, 2004
Revised: February 23, 2015; December 16, 2019; April 24, 2023
Reviewed: February 26, 2024