State Board Approves New Ethics Code for Teachers - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

State Board Approves New Ethics Code for Teachers

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state Board of Education approved a new code of ethics for Arkansas' 60,000 licensed teachers Monday, despite concerns from a teachers union that implementing the rules too quickly would create a "gotcha" mentality in schools.

The code, which takes effect Sept. 1, bars teachers from using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs at school or during school-sponsored activities involving students.  It also requires teachers to maintain "professional relationships with students," bans teachers from using their positions for personal gain, and requires them to keep confidential standardized testing material and personal information about students.

In addition, the code levies a fee on some teaching licenses for the first time in the state's history to help pay for enforcement of the new rules.  The rules were required under a 2007 state law that also created a 15-member Professional Licensure Standards Board.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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