|(a) In compliance with the Texas Education Code, §21.041(b)(8),
the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts an Educators'
Code of Ethics as set forth in §247.2 of this title (relating
to Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators). The
SBEC may amend the ethics code in the same manner as any other formal
(b) The Texas educator shall comply with standard practices
and ethical conduct toward students, professional colleagues, school
officials, parents, and members of the community and shall safeguard
academic freedom. The Texas educator, in maintaining the dignity of
the profession, shall respect and obey the law, demonstrate personal
integrity, and exemplify honesty and good moral character. The Texas
educator, in exemplifying ethical relations with colleagues, shall
extend just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession.
The Texas educator, in accepting a position of public trust, shall
measure success by the progress of each student toward realization
of his or her potential as an effective citizen. The Texas educator,
in fulfilling responsibilities in the community, shall cooperate with
parents and others to improve the public schools of the community.
This chapter shall apply to educators and candidates for certification.
(c) The SBEC is solely responsible for enforcing the
Educators' Code of Ethics for purposes related to certification disciplinary
proceedings. The Educators' Code of Ethics is enforced through the
disciplinary procedure set forth in Chapter 249 of this title (relating
to Disciplinary Proceedings, Sanctions, and Contested Cases) pursuant
to the purposes stated therein.
(d) As provided in §249.5 of this title (relating
to Purpose; Policy Governing Disciplinary Proceedings), the primary
goals the SBEC seeks to achieve in educator disciplinary matters are:
(1) to protect the safety and welfare of Texas schoolchildren
and school personnel;
(2) to ensure educators and applicants are morally
fit and worthy to instruct or to supervise the youth of the state;
(3) to fairly and efficiently resolve educator disciplinary
proceedings at the least expense possible to the parties and the state.
(e) The following words, terms, and phrases, when used
in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context
clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Abuse--Includes the following acts or omissions:
(A) mental or emotional injury to a student or minor
that results in an observable and material impairment in the student's
or minor's development, learning, or psychological functioning;
(B) causing or permitting a student or minor to be
in a situation in which the student or minor sustains a mental or
emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment
in the student's or minor's development, learning, or psychological
(C) physical injury that results in substantial harm
to a student or minor, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from
physical injury to the student or minor, including an injury that
is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding
an accident or reasonable discipline; or
(D) sexual conduct harmful to a student's or minor's
mental, emotional, or physical welfare.
(2) Applicant--A party seeking issuance, renewal, or
reinstatement of a certificate from the Texas Education Agency staff
or the State Board for Educator Certification.
(3) Code of Ethics--The Educators' Code of Ethics codified
in this chapter.
(4) Complaint--A written statement submitted to the
Texas Education Agency staff that contains essential facts alleging
improper conduct by an educator, applicant, or examinee, the complainant's
verifiable contact information, including full name, complete address,
and phone number, which provides grounds for sanctions.
(5) Contested case--A proceeding under this chapter
in which the legal rights, duties, and privileges related to a party's
educator certificate are to be determined by the State Board for Educator
Certification and/or the State Office of Administrative Hearings commencing
when a petition is properly served under this chapter.
(6) Disciplinary proceedings--Any matter arising under
this chapter or Chapter 249 of this title (relating to Disciplinary
Proceedings, Sanctions, and Contested Cases) that results in a final
order or finding issued by the Texas Education Agency staff, the State
Office of Administrative Hearings, or the State Board for Educator
Certification relating to the legal rights, duties, privileges, and
status of a party's educator certificate.
(7) Educator--A person who is required to hold a certificate
issued under the Texas Education Code, Chapter 21, Subchapter B.
(8) Endanger--Exposure of a student or minor to unjustified
risk of injury or to injury that jeopardizes the physical health or
safety of the student or minor without regard to whether there has
been an actual injury to the student or minor.
(9) Good moral character--The virtues of a person as
evidenced by patterns of personal, academic, and occupational behaviors
that, in the judgment of the State Board for Educator Certification,
indicate honesty, accountability, trustworthiness, reliability, and
integrity. Lack of good moral character may be evidenced by the commission
of crimes relating directly to the duties and responsibilities of
the education profession as described in §249.16(b) of this title
(relating to Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History for a Certificate
under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53, and Texas Education Code,
Chapter 21), or by the commission of acts involving moral turpitude,
but conduct that evidences a lack of good moral character is not necessarily
limited to such crimes or acts.
(10) Intentionally--An educator acts intentionally,
or with intent, with respect to the nature of his or her conduct or
to a result of his or her conduct when it is his or her conscious
objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.
(11) Knowingly--An educator acts knowingly, or with
knowledge, with respect to the nature of his or her conduct or to
circumstances surrounding his or her conduct when he or she is aware
of the nature of the conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person
acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his
or her conduct when he or she is aware that the conduct is reasonably
certain to cause the result.
(12) Minor--A person under 18 years of age.
(13) Moral turpitude--Improper conduct, including,
but not limited to, the following: dishonesty; fraud; deceit; theft;
misrepresentation; deliberate violence; base, vile, or depraved acts
that are intended to arouse or to gratify the sexual desire of the
actor; drug or alcohol related offenses as described in §249.16(b)
of this title (relating to Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History
for a Certificate under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53, and Texas
Education Code, Chapter 21); or acts constituting abuse or neglect
under the Texas Family Code, §261.001.
(14) Neglect--The placing or leaving of a student or
minor in a situation where the student or minor would be exposed to
a substantial risk of physical or mental harm.
(15) Recklessly--An educator acts recklessly, or is
reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his or her conduct
or the results of his or her conduct when he or she is aware of but
consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the
circumstances exist or that the result will occur.
(16) Sanction--A disciplinary action by the State Board
for Educator Certification, including a restriction, reprimand, suspension,
revocation of a certificate, or a surrender in lieu of disciplinary
(17) Sexual harassment--Unwelcome sexual advances,
requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of
a sexual nature.
(18) State Board for Educator Certification--The State
Board for Educator Certification acting through its voting members
in a decision-making capacity.
(19) State Board for Educator Certification member(s)--One
or more of the members of the State Board for Educator Certification,
appointed and qualified under the Texas Education Code, §21.033.
(20) Student--A person enrolled in a primary or secondary
school, whether public, private, or charter, regardless of the person's
age, or a person 18 years of age or younger who is eligible to be
enrolled in a primary or secondary school, whether public, private,
(21) Texas Education Agency staff--Staff of the Texas
Education Agency assigned by the commissioner of education to perform
the State Board for Educator Certification's administrative functions
(22) Under the influence of alcohol--A blood alcohol
content of .04% or greater and/or lacking the normal use of mental
or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol.
(23) Worthy to instruct or to supervise the youth of
this state--Presence of those moral, mental, and psychological qualities
that are required to enable an educator to render the service essential
to the accomplishment of the goals and mission of the State Board
for Educator Certification policy and this chapter.