Further information is listed below from page 6 of the Stage and Screen Academy’s Employee Handbook:
Staff members shall establish and maintain appropriate personal boundaries with students and not engage in any behavior that is prohibited by law, regulation, or this Policy or that creates the appearance of prohibited behavior. All staff shall be required to maintain professional and ethical relationships with Stage and Screen Academy students that are conducive to an effective, safe learning environment. This Policy addresses a range of behaviors that include not only obviously unlawful or improper interactions with students, but also precursor grooming and other boundary -blurring behaviors that have the intention or effect of leading to more egregious misconduct.
This Policy applies to Stage and Screen Academy employees, volunteers, student teachers, and independent contractors and their employees who interact with students, are present on Stage and Screen Academy property or at SSA events. Independent contractors doing business with Stage and Screen Academy will ensure that their employees who have direct interaction with, or unsupervised access to minor students, are informed of the provisions of this Policy and complete a criminal background check process which complies with NMSA 1978 Section 22-10A-5.
This Policy is not intended to interfere with appropriate personal or family relationships between staff and students and their families that exist independently of Stage and Screen Academy nor to interfere with participation in civic, religious, or other outside organizations that include SSA students.
The interactions and relationships between staff and students should be based upon mutual respect and trust, an understanding of the appropriate boundaries between staff and students in and outside of the educational setting, and consistency with the educational mission of SSA.
Staff will not intrude on a student’s physical and emotional boundaries, unless the intrusion is necessary to serve an educational, physical, mental, and/or emotional health purpose or to prevent an immediate risk of injury or harm to the student.
Staff members are required to immediately notify administration or the person in charge of human relations for SSA if they become aware of a situation that may constitute a violation of the law or this Policy. This obligation is in addition to the statutory responsibility to report suspected abuse and neglect under the law as implemented by Policy JLF, “Child Abuse Neglect and Reporting,” or its equivalent.
Students and their parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to notify administration or the person in charge of human relations for SSA if they believe a staff member may be engaging in conduct that violates the appropriate boundaries as specified in this Policy, puts a student at risk or which may violate the law.
Anonymous complaints involving inappropriate boundary invasions by staff members with students will be investigated as if a student, parent, or staff member reported the violation.
Allegations of inappropriate conduct shall be promptly investigated in accordance with the procedures utilized for complaints of harassment.
It is understood that some reports made pursuant to this Policy will be based on rumors or misunderstandings; the mere fact that the reported staff member is cleared of any wrongdoing shall not result in disciplinary action against the reporter or any witnesses. If as the result of an investigation any individual, including the reported staff member, the reporter, or a witness is found to have intentionally provided false information in making the report or during the investigation or hearings related to the report, or if any individual intentionally obstructs the investigation or hearings, this may be addressed as a violation of this Policy and other applicable laws, regulations and Stage and Screen Academy policies. Obstruction includes but is not limited to violation of “no contact” orders given to the reported staff member, attempting to alter or influence witness testimony by threat or intimidation, and destruction of or hiding evidence. Intimidation of a witness is a violation of the NM Criminal Code and is required to be reported to appropriate law enforcement authorities immediately upon discovery.
Employees who violate the policies and procedures in this manual may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. The type of disciplinary action taken will depend on the severity of the violation.
Retaliation against students or staff members who report an improper staff/student relationship or participate in any related proceedings is prohibited. Appropriate action will be taken against
Students or staff members who retaliate against any student or staff member who reports alleged harassment or participates in related proceedings.
Prior to becoming an employee of SSA, a comprehensive background check consisting of prior employment verification, professional reference checks, education verification, licensure and certification confirmation, and a criminal background check is conducted in accordance with applicable laws. If applicable to your position, a driving records check will be completed.
Employees are required to undergo a background check every two years. Individual employees are responsible for any associated fees. Background check information shall not be disclosed to unauthorized personnel or individuals.
Employees can request further information on background check requirements and procedures from the administration or the person in charge of human relations for SSA.