Policy Details Page

Policy 5010
Human Resources

The School Board recognizes its responsibility to protect students, staff, parents/guardians, and volunteers from physical and/or emotional harm at its school and worksites, as well as at school-sponsored events. The following list of rules sets forth the required general employee conduct. 

All rules of the District now in force or hereafter adopted shall be observed by all employees consistent with Policy 5230, Job Responsibilities. 

An employee shall not:

1. Falsify or omit material information from District records or any report or statement required of or submitted by the employee.  This includes, but is not limited to, providing false information to the District (i.e., timesheets, application materials, during formal investigations);

2. Use language or actions which are vulgar or profane to a person of ordinary sensibilities;

3. Carry or smoke any kind of pipe, cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, vaporizer or any other paraphernalia equipment or material, or chew or sniff a tobacco product, on District property, including District vehicles;

4. Damage, negligently or intentionally, property of the District, another employee, a student, or the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students;

5. Take, use, convert, or possess without authorization funds, equipment, materials, resources, technology, or services of an individual or of the District for purposes not related to the district or use District supplies and equipment for personal betterment or financial gain;

6. Endanger, negligently or intentionally, the safety of oneself or another person, including using inappropriate physical force on students or inappropriately touching students;

7. Provoke a fight or participate in a fight, except to take such defensive measures as may be necessary to protect oneself or anyone else who is the subject of an unprovoked attack;

8. Use threats or personal/political influence in an effort to secure promotion, leave of absence, transfer, change of evaluation, pay or other occupational advantage for oneself or another;

9. Induce or attempt to induce any District employee or student to commit an unlawful act in violation of any rule, regulation or policy applicable to the employee or student;

10. Possess a weapon on school grounds or off school grounds while participating in a school-sponsored activity or event, unless specifically authorized by law (School Patrol Officers, School Resources Officers, and the Director of Security);

11. Violate any rule, regulation or statute or other legal enactment applicable to the employee or engage in insubordination.

12. Illegally manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess any illegal and/or controlled substances, including marijuana (cannabis), on school grounds, a District school, worksite, or at a school-sponsored activity or event;

13. Be in possession or under the influence of alcohol, illegal and/or controlled substances, including marijuana (cannabis) and anabolic steroids, in a manner that violates Policy 5201, Drug-Free Schools, Community, and Workplace;

14. Fail to perform any responsibilities lawfully imposed upon the employee or fail to follow any lawful directives issued to the employee (this includes, but is not limited to, failure to report suspected Child Abuse or Neglect by all District employees); 

15. Be tardy;

16. Be absent without authorization or approved excuse;

17. Threaten, intimidate, harass (including sexual harassment), coerce or abuse, either physically or verbally, another employee, patron, or student;

18. Violate safety rules or safety practices or fail to use required safety equipment;

19. Distribute materials, circulate petitions, or collect contributions on the employer's time or premises without proper authorization;

20. Require or pressure students, staff, or parents to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the employee in a private remunerative capacity;

21. Engage in an act of professional misconduct;

22. Commit an act of moral turpitude;

23. Fail to observe the rights of students; enforce the rules of student conduct fairly, consistently, and without discrimination; maintain good order in the classroom, hallways, and playgrounds; and/or set an appropriate example of personal conduct and avoid statements which may be demeaning or personally offensive to any student or group of students;

24. Engage in sexual misconduct or otherwise violate the District’s Policy and Regulation related to Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Relationships; 

25. Be convicted of a crime or crimes under RCW 28A.400.322 or a crime or crimes that directly relates to the position held by the employee or impacts the employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties; and/or

26. Misuse District technology resources. 

This listing represents the general guidelines of employee conduct for Tacoma School District No. 10 and is not inclusive. Individual schools or departments may also have written rules which employees are expected to follow. A violation of the above rules may be sufficiently serious to constitute cause for termination of employment.

In addition, a situation may occur which is inherently offensive but no specific rule applies; in such a case an employee is subject to reasonable discipline which may include termination.

Additional Rules for Certificated Staff 

In addition to the above, pursuant to state law, certificated staff is required to exhibit "good moral character and personal fitness" as they teach, supervise students, or interact with others and are prohibited from engaging in unprofessional conduct. “Good moral character and personal fitness” is defined in WAC 181-86-013. Unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to:

1.  Violation of written contract; 

2.  Crimes against children as listed in RCW 28A.400.322; 

3.  The physical injury of children; 

4.  Sexual misconduct with children or students; 

5.  Misrepresentation or falsification in the course of professional practice (i.e., any falsification or deliberate misrepresentation, including omission, of a material fact by an education practitioner, including but not limited to: (i) statement of professional qualifications; (ii) application or recommendation for employment, promotion, certification, or an endorsement; (iii) application or representation for college admission, scholarship, grant, award, or similar benefit; (iv) representation of completion of in-service or continuing education credit hours; (v) evaluation or grading of students and/or personnel; (vi) financial or program compliance reports submitted to agencies; and (vii) information submitted to OSPI or law enforcement related to an official investigation;

6.  Possession, use, consumption, or being under the influence of alcohol or of an illegal and/or controlled substance, including marijuana (cannabis), on school premises or at a school-sponsored activity involving students (possession of an unopened container of alcohol in a locked motor vehicle is allowed); 

7.  Disregard or abandonment of generally recognized professional standards (i.e., any performance of professional practice in flagrant disregard or clear abandonment of generally recognized professional standards in the course of : (i) assessing; treating, instructing, or supervising students; (ii) evaluating personnel; or (iii) managing money or property); 

8. Abandonment of contract for professional services, including an extracurricular contract; 

9.  Unauthorized professional practice; 

10 Illegal furnishing of alcohol or an illegal and/or controlled substance, including marijuana (cannabis), to a student;

11.  Improper remunerative conduct (i.e., any deliberate act in the course of professional practice that requires or pressures students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educational practitioner in a private capacity); and/or

12.  Failure to report child abuse or neglect under RCW 26.44.

When the Superintendent or his or her designee possesses sufficiently reliable information to believe that a certificated employee is not of “good moral character and personal fitness” or has committed an act of unprofessional conduct, within a reasonable period of time of making such determination, a written complaint shall be filed with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.  If the District is considering action to discharge a certificated staff member, the Superintendent or his or her designee need not file such complaint until ten calendar days after making the final decision to serve or not serve formal notice of discharge. Such a written complaint shall state the grounds for revocation and summarize the factual basis upon which a determination has been made that an investigation by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is warranted.


Legal References: RCW  28A.400.320 Mandatory termination of classified employees; 

                                         28A.405.470 Mandatory termination of certificated employees; 

                                         28A.410.090 Revocation of Authority teach — Method — Grounds

                                         28A.410.100 Revocation of authority to teach — Hearings and appeals;

                                         28A.410.110 Reinstatement prohibited for crimes; 

                               WAC 181-79A Standards for teacher, administrator, and educational staff associate                                                                         certification;

                                        181-86 Professional certification — Policies and procedures for administration of                                                                   certification proceedings; 

                                         181-87 Professional certification — Acts of unprofessional conduct;

                                         181-79A-155 Good Moral Character and Personal Fitness — Necessary supporting                                                                        evidence applicants 

Management Resources: Policy News, February 2013

Adoption Date:  7/24/1980

Revised Dates:  3/26/1981; 4/9/1981; 12/9/1982; 7/26/1984; 3/12/1987; 5/26/1988; 4/13/1989; 5/10/1990; 10/28/1999, 10/08/2015

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  • HR
  • employee conduct rules
  • human resources
  • policy