Keep Interactions with Students Safe

In order to eliminate the chance of being falsely accused of misconduct, here are some things that you can do:

Touching Students

– Touch only on safe areas, such as shoulders, arms, upper back.

– NEVER touch a student while disciplining or redirecting him/her.

– Touch all students, male and female, in the same manner.

– Keep the touch very brief, such as a pat on the back.

– Students should be the ones to initiate a hug.

– Keep any hugs very brief, and if possible, make it a side hug instead of a front hug.

– Be sensitive to students who react negatively to being touched.


Verbal communications

– Be sure to talk to all students in the same manner.

– Avoid comments that might be interpreted by others as being sexist or sexual in nature.

– Avoid good-natured joking that could be misinterpreted by students.

– Compliment students on school-related performance rather than on physical characteristics (such as their outfits or hairstyles).


Written communications

– Write with the idea that whatever you say should be able to be read by the students parents and your administrator.

– If you correspond with kids at their home, write short notes on a postcard instead of writing a letter in a sealed envelope.

– Keep e-mail communications brief and related to school rather than personal issues. Print out copies and save for your records.

– If you receive inappropriate notes/e-mails from students, inform your administrator immediately.


Extracurricular activities

– Avoid seeing students outside of school-sponsored activities.

– Make sure you have other adults with you.

– Always get signed parental permission and permission from your administrator first.

– Never transport a student alone in your vehicle unless it is an absolute emergency.


Interacting with students

– Try never to be alone with a student.

– If this is unavoidable, make sure your door is open and you are visible to others walking by.

– If you must meet with a student alone, arrange to meet in a visible location within the school.

– Be aware of spending unequal amounts of time with individual students.

– Treat all students in the same manner.