If you befriend a student and take on a familial or other very supportive role, keep in mind that it can have adverse consequences for your employment in a school district.
Many employers, parents and colleagues view a "friendship" between a student and school employee with suspicion. You may be subject to a school investigation of your activities with a student outside the workplace, and it may result in discipline or loss of employment.
If you empathize with a student who appears to have few friends and poor social skills, refer them to a counselor. You may wish to maintain a close friendship with a student, but make sure other adults are present at all times when you are socializing or providing extra professional attention to the student. It also is your responsibility to treat all students consistently and not to show favoritism.
If you have a question in this area, please contact MSTA at (800) 392-0532.
Once a week, MSTA’s legal team will post a new pointer to help you be proactive in preventing and addressing matters that sometimes lead to legal concerns. Of course, we will continue to provide our legal services to members who contact us through the regular channels.
The information in this site is for educational purposes only. The information contained here does not constitute legal advice, and the use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have a confidential legal matter to discuss, please contact the Legal Services Department at (800) 392-0532. We would be happy to help you.
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