Standards of Ethical Conduct

La Prima Casa Montessori Standards of Ethical Conduct for Instructional

Personnel and School Administrators

As required by Florida Statute Section 1002.421, La Prima Casa has adopted policies establishing standards for the ethical conduct for instructional personnel and school administrators.

All employees and agents of La Prima Casa have an obligation and legal responsibility to report any misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student.

Examples of such misconduct affecting the health, safety or welfare of a student include:
• Obscene Language
• Drug and Alcohol Use
• Disparaging Comments
• Prejudice or Bigotry
• Sexual Innuendo
• Cheating
• Testing Violations
• Physical Aggression
• Accepting or Offering Inappropriate Favors

The following behavior may be indicative of misconduct that should be reported:
• being alone with a student in dark or closed room or secluded area
• behaving in an overly friendly or familiar way or failing to maintain an
• appropriate professional boundary with a student
• using forceful or unnecessary physical contact with a student
• administering discipline not compliant with school policy
• accepting or offering of gifts for return of a favor or privilege from students or colleagues.
• badgering or habitually teasing a student
• mocking or belittling a student
• chronically embarrassing a student
• displaying prejudice or bigotry against a student
• suspicion of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• failing to properly supervise students or to ensure student safety
• cheating, falsifying information or testing violations
• retaliating against a student or colleague for reporting misconduct
• bantering or engaging in colloquial or slang communications with a student
• using profane, offensive, or explosive language before students
• making lewd or suggestive comments or overtures toward a student or colleague


• Report allegations or suspicion of misconduct by an instructional personnel member to:
◦ Angela Ciocca at 305-854-8001
• Report allegations or suspicion of misconduct by your school administrators to:
◦ Gabriela Sanz at 305-854-2824 or Pedro Ramos at 305-854-8001
• Document the activities or details of the event
• Secure evidence (if applicable)


All Instructional Personnel and School Administrators are covered by these ethical standards. Instructional Personnel and School Administrators include:
• Classroom teachers
• Paraprofessionals
• Substitute teachers
• Librarians, guidance counselors and social workers
• Career specialists and school psychologists
• Administrative and educational directors

For complete definitions, see Florida Statute Section 1012.01(2) & (3)(c), available at Any Instructional Personnel or School Administrator who engages in misconduct affecting the health, welfare or safety of a student should be reported.


Possible penalties for instructional personnel or site administrators who fail to report misconduct may include, at the discretion of La Prima Casa:

  • Write up
  • Suspension with or without pay
  • Termination of employment


Training on the Standards for Ethical Conduct is mandatory for all instructional personnel and school administrators.


Florida Statutes s. 39.203 states that any person reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the Department of Children and Families or law enforcement, shall be immune from civil or criminal liability, so long as that person is the not suspected of the abuse, abandonment, or neglect; and that no person who reports child abuse, abandonment, or neglect such be subjected to reprisal or discharge because of reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

Florida Statute s. 768.095 states that an employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon the request of the prospective employer is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless clear and convincing evidence shows that the information was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected by Florida laws pertaining to civil rights and fair housing, and other law contained in Chapter 760, Florida Statutes.

Florida Statutes s. 1006.061 states all employees and agents of the district school board, charter schools and private schools that accept scholarship students, have an obligation to report misconduct by an instructional personnel member or school administrator.

Florida Statutes s. 1012.33 outlines disciplinary procedures regarding district employment contracts with instructional personnel staff, supervisors and school principals.

Florida Statutes s. 1012.795 provides the Education Practices Commission the authority to issue disciplinary action against an individual’s Florida Educator certificate

Florida Statutes s. 1012.796 provides authority for the Department of Education to investigate and prosecute allegations of educator misconduct.

Florida Statute s. 1012.01 defines public school instructional personnel, administrative personnel, school volunteers, education support employees and managers.

The full text of Florida Statutes are available on-line at:


Under Chapter 39 of Florida Law, all La Prima Casa Employees have an affirmative duty to report actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, and to cooperate with child protective investigations and all other provisions of law relating to child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

If you see actual child abuse, abandonment, or neglect:
Dial 1-800-96-ABUSE

Under Florida law, you have immunity from liability if you report such cases in good faith.

Recognizing Child Abuse, Abandonment, and Neglect

Signs of Physical Abuse:

The child may have unexplained:
– bruises, welts, cuts, or other injuries
– broken bones
– 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
– 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
– 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
– run away from home

Signs of Neglect:

The child may have:
– unattended medical needs
– little or no supervision at home
– poor hygiene
– appear underweight

A child experiencing neglect may:
– be frequently tired or hungry
– steal food
– appear overly needy for adult attention

Look for the Patterns:

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

If a child tells YOU about abuse:

• Be a good listener. Show that you understand and believe what the child tells you.
• Encourage, but don’t pressure him/her to talk. Ask open ended questions.
• Be supportive. Tell the child he/she did the right thing by coming to you. Stress that he/she is not to blame. Let the child know that you want to help.
• Don’t overreact. This can frighten the child or prevent him/her from telling you more.
• Do not talk negatively about the suspected abuser in front of the child.
• Document and report it. Document your conversation as soon as you can. If possible, write down the child’s exact words.
• Don’t delay. Never assume someone else will report the abuse. The sooner it’s reported, the sooner the child and their family can be helped.