The following policy was submitted for a first reading at the School Committee Meeting of October 19, 2020 and will be considered for adoption at the November 2, 2020 School Committee Meeting.
All employees are required to report any charge, arrest, or conviction of a crime to the Human Resources Department or to his/her supervisor within 48 hours of the charge, arrest, and/or conviction. Crimes which must be reported include, but are not limited to:
• Any crime involving a minor;
• Any felony;
• Any misdemeanor, except for minor traffic citations, but to include Driving under the Influence (“DUI”)
If possible, the employee shall provide to the District written documentation (for example, a written court record of the arrest, conviction or plea) that describes the criminal charge(s) in question, if one is provided to the employee by the arresting authority. Misrepresentation of the circumstances or nature of the arrest may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The District commits to review the circumstances of the pending charge(s), and conduct an individualized assessment of the circumstances and connection to the employee’s job duties. The Superintendent, in coordination with the Human Resources Department, will determine the most appropriate action to be taken by the District, if any. Such action may include but not be limited to modification of duties or work assignment. In considering whether a pending criminal charge(s) may require the District to take action which may adversely affect an individual’s employment, the following factors will be considered:
• The relationship of the pending criminal charge to the specific job duties and responsibilities that would be performed by the covered individual, including the impact of on-going risks with continued contacts with other employees, customers or members of the public.
• The nature, gravity and context of the events surrounding the pending criminal charge.
• The background check results and any supplementary information that can be obtained by the District or that is provided by the employee
• An employee’s absence from work while criminal charges are pending may be a violation of the District’s attendance policy. If an employee requests a leave of absence, such request will be considered by the Superintendent, whose decision will be final and binding.
In the event an investigation of the employee is conducted by the Human Resources Department, the employee has a right to Union and/or legal representation.
The District is required to report educator misconduct to the Rhode Island Department of Education’s Office of Educator Excellence and Certification Services within 15 days of discovery. Such reports allow RIDE to monitor cases and, where necessary, investigate allegations regarding professional fitness while providing educators with their due process rights. These reports are maintained separately from an educator’s certification file, and are not considered public records.
The District must report to RIDE any certified educator who:
(1) has been provided with notice of intent to dismiss, suspend or place on leave for
(2) has been arrested, indicted or convicted of a crime (misdemeanor or felony);
(3) is the subject of allegations of sexual or romantic activity with a child or student;
(4) is the subject of allegations that he or she has caused physical injury to a child or student due to negligence or malice;
(5) is the subject of a report filed with the Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) at the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families;
(6) has resigned, retired, or otherwise separated from employment with the agency after it became aware of an allegation that the educator engaged in misconduct; or
(7) has been dismissed for performance-based or fitness related reasons.