Ethics Policy





  1. Our school values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
  2. Our primary concern is the student and the development of the student’s potential.  Employees will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgement and integrity
  3. Concern for the student requires that our instruction personnel
    1. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental; and/or physical health and/or safety
    2. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning
    3. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view
    4. Shall not intentionally suppress or destroy subject matter relevant to a student’s academic program
    5. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement
    6. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights
    7. Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination
    8. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage
    9. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
  4. Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of colleagues, of students, of parents, and of the community, employees of our school must display the highest degree of ethical conduct. The commitment requires that our employees:
    1. Shall mainline honesty in all professional dealings
    2. Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization.
    3. Shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities
    4. Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive or oppressive environment, and further, shall make a reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
    5. Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague


  1. Training Requirements:  All instructional personnel, educational support employees, and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct


    1. Reporting Misconduct by Instructional Personnel and Administrators:  All employees, educational support employees, and administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators, which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression, and accepting or offering favors. Reports of misconduct of employees should be made to Holli Kennedy, 904 264 7414 x1112, .  Reports of misconduct committed by administrators should be made to  Elizabeth Nottingham, 904 264 7414 x1125, Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are posted in the front office, all break rooms and on our Web site at


    1. Reporting Child Abuse, Abandonment or Neglect: Florida law requires that all School personnel, employees and agents have an affirmative duty to immediately report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) any knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Abuse includes sexual abuse by another child.
    2. Signs of Physical Abuse:  The Child may have unexplained bruises, welts, cuts or other injuries, broken bones or burns.  A child experience physical abuse may seem withdrawn, depressed, seem afraid to go home or may runaway, shy away from physical contact, be aggressive or wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries.
    3. Signs of Sexual Abuse: The Child may have torn, stained or bloody underwear, trouble walking or sitting, pain or itching in genital area, or a sexually transmitted disease. A child experiencing sexual abuse may have unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively, fear a particular person, seem withdrawn or depressed, gain or lose weight suddenly, shy away from physical contact or run away from home
    4. Signs of Neglect: The child may have unattended medial needs, little or no supervision at home, poor hygiene or appear underweight. A child experiencing neglect may be frequently tired or hungry, steal food or appear overly needs for adult attention.
    5. Patterns of Abuse: Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors. While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serios indicator and should be reported.


    1. Abandonment: A situation in which the parent or caregiver responsible for the child’s welfare makes no significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance. This includes leaving a child without adult supervision or an arrangement appropriate for the child’s age or mental or physical condition, so that the child is unable to care for the child’s own needs or another’s basic needs or is unable to exercise good judgment in responding to any kind of physical or emotional crisis.
    2. Juvenile: (or child-on-child) Sexual Abuse: Any sexual behavior by a child toward another child which occurs without consent, without equality (lacking the same level of power in the relationship), or as a result of coercion, including making obscene phone calls, the showing or taking of lewd photographs, or varying degrees of direct sexual contact, such as fondling, digital penetration, rape, and various other sexually aggressive acts.
    3. Harm: Harm to a child’s health or welfare can occur when any person:


  • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical, mental, or emotional    injury, including willful acts causing injuries such as:
  • Sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage.
  • Bone or skull fractures.
  • Brain or spinal cord damage.
  • Intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal organs.
  • Asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning.
  • Injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon.
  • Burns or scalding.
  • Cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites.
  • Permanent or temporary disfigurement.
  • Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part or function.
  • Purposely gives a child poison, alcohol, drugs, or other substances that substantially affect the child’s behavior, motor coordination, or judgment or that results in sickness or internal injury.
  • Inflicts inappropriately or excessively harsh disciplinary action that is likely to result in physical injury, mental injury, or emotional injury. Corporal discipline may be considered excessive or abusive when it results in any of the following or other similar injuries those injuries set forth above.
  • Commits, or allows to be committed, sexual battery, or lewd or lascivious acts, against the child.


  1. As with any policy, administrators, managers, and supervisors are expected to serve as role models for proper compliance with the provisions above and are encouraged to regularly remind employees of their responsibilities in complying with this policy. All Faculty and Staff must complete the Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect. This online course is required annually and satisfies the requirement specified in Section 1012.98(12), Florida Statues.  The course may be found at



Reporting Process


All employees or agents have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment or neglect by calling the toll-free Abuse Hotline at (800) 96-ABUSE (962-2873) or online at If you would like assistance in making the report, you may contact Student Services. Seeking assistance from the School’s administration does not satisfy your obligation to report child abuse directly to DCF. After you have made a report, please notify Student Services so the School can assist with investigations and/or ensure that appropriate personnel are watchful for signs of future potential abuse of the child(ren) in question.

Additionally, St. Johns requires that you also notify the Assistant to the Head of School, Holli Kennedy, 904 264 7414 x1112,, once DCF has been contacted.

Criminal Penalties for Failure to Report


It is a third-degree felony to fail to report suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

Liability Protections

Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by law, or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action (F.S. 39.203).

Any employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosures or is consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under F.S. Chapter 760 (F.S. 768.095)

Reporting Other Concerning Information


If you have received information reflecting that any person who may visit the School’s campus (student, employee, parent, spouse of an employee, family member, volunteer, or contractor) has been accused, arrested, or convicted of any type of potential abuse or sexual misconduct toward any other person, you must immediately report such information to the Head of School.