• Sexual Assault and Misconduct
  • Report
  • K-12

Guideposts for Teachers to Maintain Healthy Relationships With Students

Joe Vossen, JD
May 2021

Why Read This

Rules-based training to prohibit misconduct between teachers and students is necessary and important but has practical limitations. It is impossible for rules to cover every situation in which teachers interact with students — so much depends on context. For example, the appropriateness of hugging a student depends on many variables.

This report offers key details on practical guideposts teachers should examine to prevent misconduct.

Key Takeaways

  • Reiterate to teachers the importance of staying professional and not sending mixed or ambiguous signals to students — blurring professional and personal roles confuses students and contributes to the breakdown of boundaries.
  • Boundary awareness is a key element in promoting healthy relationships with students and avoiding misconduct.
  • Train teachers as well to be especially careful to stay in a professional role and maintain boundaries when using technology to communicate privately with students.

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