Columbia Public Schools adopt new staff/student relations policy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | 9:39 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Public School Board passed an updated staff/student relations policy for clarification purposes at its meeting Wednesday night.

The previous policy did not give specifics on off-campus procedures.

Michelle Baumstark, communications coordinator for Columbia Public Schools, said Wednesday afternoon that the updated policy is not really “new”; the district just needed to make sure that the expectations were in writing.

The new policy reads: “In general, employees may only meet with district students off campus if it is for a school-related purpose and after the principal has been notified. Employees that know student through interactions outside of the school environment such as participation in community activities, church, or neighborhood contact may meet with students off campus with parental consent. These rules apply to interactions with any district student, regardless of whether the employee works in the same school building the student attends.”

During the meeting, Columbia Public Schools superintendent Chris Belcher said the policy is to protect both the student and the employee. 

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