As a school that participates in Florida Department of Education School Choice Scholarship program, and pursuant to the requirements set forth in the 2008 Ethics in Education Act, please be advised that Panama City Advanced School operates under the following guidelines and laws.
Ethics in Education Act
Senate Bill 1712 (Chapter Law 2008-108), the Ethics in Education Act, became effective July 1, 2008, and impacts certain operational procedures for private schools participating in the McKay and Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Programs.
The Act amends Section 1002.421, Florida Statutes, related to participating private school accountability, by adding new requirements to the employee screening process. All instructional personnel and school administrators in a position that requires direct contact with students are subject to the new screening standards. The private school accountability statute has also been amended to require private schools to develop standards of ethical conduct for the school’s instructional personnel and administrators. Instructional personnel and school administrators are defined by Sections 1012.01(2) and(3), Florida Statutes.
Finally, the Act amends Section 1006.061, Florida Statutes, related to the state’s child abuse, abandonment, and neglect policy. Private and charter schools are now required to comply with these policies.
An explanation of the new requirements, instructions for implementation, and links to additional resources have been provided for your convenience.
All Panama City Advanced School administrators, teachers, and staff members have been fully screened and background checked pursuant to state law.
1. Participating private schools must disqualify from employment any instructional personnel or school administrator who is convicted of an act listed under Section 1012.315, Florida Statutes.
2. Participating private schools must conduct an employment history check before employing instructional personnel or school administrators in any position that requires direct contact with students.
3. Participating private schools must screen new instructional personnel or school administrators using the two employee screening tools developed by the Department of Education. New instructional personnel or school administrators are those individuals employed after the law became effective on July 1, 2008.
Training Requirement All instructional personnel and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct.
Child Abuse Reporting and Employee Misconduct
1. Participating private schools must prohibit confidentiality agreements with instructional personnel or school administrators who are dismissed, terminated, or resign in lieu of termination due to misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student.
2. Participating private schools must post a notice at the school stating that all employees have a duty to report actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
3. Participating private schools must post at the school site and on the school’s Web site (if applicable) the policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators, which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student.
4. All employees and agents have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Call 1-800-96-ABUSE or report online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/.
Signs of Physical Abuse The child may have unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, or other
injuries; broken bones; or burns. A child experiencing physical abuse may seem withdrawn
or depressed, seem afraid to go home or may run away, shy away from physical contact, be
aggressive, or wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries.
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.
Signs of Neglect The child may have unattended medical 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 needy for adult attention.
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 serious indicator and
should be reported.
All PCAS employees have been trained to recognize signs of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect, and have been advised as to their status as mandatory reporters.
Please report any instance or suspected instance of employee misconduct to our Principal, Mrs. Adria Arafat, or Director, Mr. Rashid Karaman at (850) 784-2520.
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).
As a representative of Panama City Advanced School, staff and faculty must demonstrate and uphold standards of ethical conduct both in and outside of the classroom. As an employee and a role model to students, you have a duty, at all times, to abide by the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida (Rule 6B-1.001, F.A.C.) and must complete training on the standards of the Ethics in Education Act as outlined below.