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S.F. No. 3915 - Codifying the Teacher Code of Ethics
Author: Senator Carla J. Nelson
Prepared By: Bettsy J. Hjelseth, Senate Analyst (651/296-7983)
Date: March 10, 2020


Section 1. Code of Ethics.

Subdivision 1. Scope. Establishes that a teacher assumes an obligation to adhere to the principles that define professional conduct. The principals are reflected in the code of ethics. The code of ethics applies to all people licensed according to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board’s rules.

Subd. 2. Standards of professional conduct. (a) Requires a teacher to provide professional educational services in a nondiscriminatory manner, including not discriminating on the basis of political, ideological, or religious beliefs.

(b) Requires a teacher to make a reasonable effort to protect students from harmful conditions.

(c) Requires a teacher to disclose confidential information about an individual only when a compelling professional purpose is served or required by law.

(d) Requires a teacher to take reasonable disciplinary action in exercising the authority to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning.

(e) Prohibits a teacher from using professional relationships to personal advantage.

(f) Limits a teacher’s ability to delegate authority for teaching responsibilities to licensed personnel or as otherwise provided by law.

(g) Prohibits a teacher from deliberately suppressing or distorting subject matter.

(h) Prohibits a teacher from falsifying or misrepresenting records or facts relating to their or another teacher’s qualifications.

(i) Prohibits a teacher from making false or malicious statements about students or colleagues.

(j) Allows a teacher to only accept a teaching contract for a position for which they are properly or provisionally licensed.

(k) Prohibits a teacher from engaging in sexual contact with a student.

Effective Date.  Makes the section effective immediately.

Section 2Advise members of the profession. Directs the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board to develop a process for a school district to receive written complaints about a teacher under the code of ethics and to forward the complaint to the board.

Effective Date. Makes the section effective immediately.

Section 3. Repealer. (a) Repeals section 122A.09, subdivision 1 (Code of ethics).

(b) Repeals Minnesota rules, part 8710.2100, subparts 1 and 2 (Code of ethics for Minnesota teachers).


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