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Employee Code of Conduct

Contents

General Provisions
Dress Code and Personal Appearance
Conflict of Interest
Behavior in Digital, Cyber or Non-Face-to-Face Environment
Unacceptable Activities
Staff Conduct with Students
Sexual Contact with Students
Corporal Punishment
Reasonable Restraint

General Provisions

District employees shall serve as positive role models for students and set good examples in conduct, manners, dress and grooming.  Albuquerque Public Schools expects each employee to maintain the highest standards of conduct and act in a mature and responsible manner at all times. Employees shall not engage in activities that violate federal, state or local laws or which, in any way, diminish the integrity, efficiency or discipline of the district.

Dress Code and Personal Appearance

Employees shall be suitably attired and groomed during working hours, when attending district-sponsored activities and when representing Albuquerque Public Schools. To maintain a professional appearance, facial piercings, ear gauges, tongue piercings and visible tattoos may be subject to covering. Dress shall be professional and modest so that cleavage, midriffs and buttocks are covered.  

Employees are prohibited from displaying gang-related attire and/or tattoos.  Employees shall be required to cover gang-related tattoos while on district property and at district-sponsored activities.

If a supervisor determines that an employee’s attire and/or grooming is out of place, the employee may be asked to leave the workplace until he/she is properly attired and/or groomed. In no case shall the standards for employees be lower than those prescribed for students in the Student Behavior Handbook. Supervisors shall counsel staff assigned to their location on appearance and conduct. Employees who violate dress code standards may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Conflict of Interest

The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, superintendent and all employees shall comply with the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act. The Act includes standards for ethical behavior and controls financial conflicts of interests for the Board of Education, superintendent and employees.

For more information regarding conflict of interest, please refer to the Conflict of Interest procedural directive.

Behavior in an Digital, Cyber or Non-Face-to-Face Environment

Albuquerque Public Schools shall consider violation of the standards of conduct that occurs in a digital, cyber or non-face-to-face environment the same as violation of the standards of conduct in a traditional or physical environment. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, that which is outlined in this procedural directive.

Albuquerque Public Schools has the right to sanction or discipline employees who violate the standards of conduct in a digital, cyber or non-face-to-face environment as if those violations occurred in a face-to-face or physical manner. 

Employees shall be provided with annual training on acceptable behavior in a digital/cyber environment. All employees shall be required to complete the training as part of their annual Albuquerque Public Schools employer. That training may include suggestions to assist employees in making wise decisions regarding interactions with students, families, members of the community and colleagues in a digital/cyber environment.

Unacceptable Activities

Albuquerque Public Schools expects each employee to act in a mature and responsible way at all times.  All employees are expected to treat each other with respect, consideration and civility. Intimidating, demeaning, threatening, vulgar, or violent behaviors depart from that standard.

Supervisors shall answer any questions concerning any work or safety rule, or any of the unacceptable activities listed below.

**Note: The following list of unacceptable activities does not include all types of conduct that can result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Nothing in this list alters the at-will nature of employment for some employees of the district.

Unacceptable activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Violation of any federal, state and local law or regulation
  • Violation of any Board of Education policy or administrative procedural directive
  • Violation of security or safety rules or failure to observe safety rules or district safety practices; failure to wear required safety equipment; or tampering with district equipment or safety equipment
  • Negligence or any careless action that may endanger the health, safety or well-being of another person
  • Being intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, including alcohol, while at work; use, possession or sale of a controlled substance in any quantity while on district property, except medications prescribed for the employee by a physician which do not impair work performance
  • Possession of illegal firearms, weapons or explosives on district property or while on duty
  • Engaging in criminal conduct or acts of violence, or making threats of violence toward anyone on district property, at a district-sponsored activity or when representing Albuquerque Public Schools; fighting or provoking a fight on district property, or negligent damage to property
  •  Insubordination or refusing to obey instructions properly issued by a supervisor pertaining to the employee’s work; refusal to help out on a special assignment
  • Threatening, intimidating or coercing fellow employees on or off district property at any time, for any purpose
  • Engaging in an act of sabotage; negligently or intentionally causing the destruction or damage of district property or the property of fellow employees, customers, suppliers, or visitors
  • Theft or unauthorized possession of district property or the property of fellow employees; unauthorized possession or removal of any district property, including documents, from the premises without prior permission from administration; unauthorized use of district equipment or property for personal reasons; using district equipment for profit
  • Dishonesty; falsification or misrepresentation on an application for employment or other work records; untruthfulness about sick or personal leave; falsifying reason for a leave of absence or other data requested by Albuquerque Public Schools; unauthorized alteration of district records or other documents
  • Spreading malicious gossip and/or rumors; engaging in behavior which creates discord and lack of harmony; interfering with another employee on the job; restricting work output or encouraging others to do the same
  • Inappropriate conduct or indecency on district property
  • Conducting a lottery or gambling on district property
  • Unsatisfactory or careless work, failure to meet work productivity or work quality standards
  • Any act of discrimination or harassment including but not limited to sexual, racial, or religious discrimination; telling sexist or racist jokes; making racial or ethnic slurs
  • Leaving work before the end of a workday or not being ready to work at the start of a workday without a supervisor’s approval; stopping work before the end of the work day
  • Sleeping or loitering during working hours
  • Excessive use of telephones for personal calls, text messaging, and cell phone plan features
  • Smoking on district property or in district-owned vehicles
  • Creating or contributing to unsanitary conditions
  • Failure to report an absence or late arrival; unauthorized or excessive absences or lateness
  • Obscene or abusive language toward any supervisor, employee, parent, family or student; indifference or rudeness; any disorderly/antagonistic conduct on district premises
  • Speeding or careless driving of district-owned vehicles
  • Failure to immediately report damage to, or an accident involving, district-owned equipment
  • Unauthorized egregious soliciting of fellow employees, students, families or other members of the community during working hours and/or in working areas.  Soliciting may include selling merchandise or collecting funds of any kind for charities, businesses or others without authorization from a supervisor during business hours, or at a time or place that may make others feel uncomfortable or interfere with the work of another employee
  • Failure to use required time-sheets, alteration of the employee’s own time-sheet or records or attendance documents, punching or altering another employee's time-sheet or records, or causing someone to alter the employee’s own time-sheet or records
  • Sharing or disseminating personal or confidential information about students or employees
  • Negligence or any careless action that allows others access to personal or confidential information about employees or students. Willfully providing someone access to personal or confidential information about employees or students, including account passwords
  • Any other act or omission that impairs or restricts the ability of the district to provide a safe and healthy environment for employees, families and students

Staff Conduct with Students

Staff members shall maintain professional relationships with students at all times. The district reserves the right to investigate concerns of employee or volunteer misconduct involving students even if no written complaint has been filed. Employees are required to report known misconduct and questionable behavior on the part of fellow employees and volunteers involving students. 

Sexual Contact with Students

Sexual relationships between any employee or volunteer and students, including students who have reached the age of consent, shall be prohibited. 

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment, which is defined as any disciplinary action taken by school personnel with the intention of producing physical pain, shall not be used in the Albuquerque Public Schools.

Reasonable Restraint

For purposes of this procedural directive, “reasonable restraint” means involuntary immobilization of the student's opportunity for movement by staff member(s) through direct contact.

There are times when it becomes necessary for staff to use reasonable restraint to protect a student from harming himself/herself or to protect others from harm. 

Persons employed by the district may, within the scope of their employment, including involvement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, use and apply such amount of force for such period of time as is reasonable and necessary to accomplish the following purposes:

  • To quell a disturbance threatening serious, probable, and imminent bodily harm to self or others
  • To obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects that are within the control of a student who poses a serious, probable, and imminent threat of bodily harm to self or others
  • For protection against serious, probable, and imminent threat of harm to self and others, or destruction of property that could lead to harm to the student or others
  • Incident to a lawful arrest by certified and commissioned Albuquerque Public Schools police officers

In the case of students receiving special education services, any restraint used beyond the four specific situations listed above shall be identified on the student's Individual Education Program (IEP) as part of the student's behavior plan.

Restraint devices, such as handcuffs and flex cuffs, may only be used by police officers and security staff trained and authorized by the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department.

An act of physical force or restraint by a teacher or other employee against a student shall not be considered child abuse if the act was performed in good faith and in compliance with this procedure. Such acts shall not be construed to constitute corporal punishment.

Within a reasonable time after a teacher or other employee uses reasonable restraint with a student, the teacher or other employee shall report the incident to the principal or designee.

Administrative Position:           

  • Chief of Human Resources & Legal Support Services

Department Director:               

  • Executive Director of Employee Relations and Staffing

References:

Legal Cross Ref.:

Board Policy Cross Ref.:                  

  • GB3 – Staff Standards of Conduct
  • GB6 – Acceptable Employee Use of Technology

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:     

  • Employee Handbook
  • Conflict of Interest

Forms Cross Ref:                             

Approved:  March 2007
Reviewed: August 26, 2011
Revised: October 21, 2011
Reviewed: July 23, 2014
Revised: July 25, 2014
Revised: July 19, 2019