Code of Ethics
KRS 161.028 requires that the Education Professional Standards Board develop a professional code of ethics. The Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky Certified Personnel, codified in 16 KAR 1:020, establishes the ethical standards for Kentucky certified school personnel and establishes that violation of the code may be grounds for revocation or suspension of Kentucky teacher or administrator certification.
Certified Personnel in the Commonwealth
- Shall strive toward excellence, recognize the importance of the pursuit of truth, nurture democratic citizenship, and safeguard the freedom to learn and to teach;
- Shall believe in the worth and dignity of each human being and in educational opportunities for all;
- Shall strive to uphold the responsibilities of the education profession, including the following obligations to students, to parents, and to the education profession.
- Shall provide students with professional education services in a nondiscriminatory manner and in consonance with accepted best practice known to the educator;
- Shall respect the constitutional rights of all students;
- Shall take reasonable measures to protect the health, safety, and emotional well-being of students;
- Shall not use professional relationships or authority with students for personal advantage;
- Shall keep in confidence information about students which has been obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law;
- Shall not knowingly make false or malicious statements about students or colleagues;
- Shall refrain from subjecting students to embarrassment or disparagement; and
- Shall not engage in any sexually related behavior with a student with or without consent, but shall maintain a professional approach with students. Sexually related behavior shall include such behaviors as sexual jokes; sexual remarks; sexual kidding or teasing; sexual innuendo; pressure for dates or sexual favors; inappropriate physical touching, kissing, or grabbing; rape; threats of physical harm; and sexual assault.
- Shall make reasonable effort to communicate to parents information which should be revealed in the interest of the student;
- Shall endeavor to understand community cultures and diverse home environments of students;
- Shall not knowingly distort or misrepresent facts concerning educational issues;
- Shall distinguish between personal views and the views of the employing educational agency;
- Shall not interfere in the exercise of political and citizenship rights and responsibilities of others;
- Shall not use institutional privileges for private gain, for the promotion of political candidates, or for partisan political activities; and
- Shall not accept gratuities, gifts, or favors that might impair or appear to impair professional judgment, and shall not offer any of these to obtain special advantage.
To the education profession:
- Shall exemplify behaviors which maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession;
- Shall accord just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession in the exercise of their professional rights and responsibilities;
- Shall keep in confidence information acquired about colleagues in the course of employment, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law;
- Shall not use coercive means or give special treatment in order to influence professional decisions;
- Shall apply for, accept, offer, or assign a position or responsibility only on the basis of professional preparation and legal qualifications; and
- Shall not knowingly falsify or misrepresent records of facts relating to the educator's own qualifications or those of other professionals.
Model Code of Ethics for Educators
At its February 12, 2018, meeting, the Board endorsed the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) for use by school districts and educator preparation providers (EPPs). The Board is encouraging school districts and EPPs to begin using the MCEE as a complementary document to the Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky Certified School Personnel. By the end of the Fall 2018 semester, staff will begin surveying school districts and EPPs regarding their use of the MCEE. The Board’s Code of Ethics Review Committee will then meet to review feedback and determine what, if any, additional steps should be taken.