Status: Adopted March 19, 2019
- As Christians, the way we behave is a public reflection of our faith and Godly behaviour honours God. Matthew 5:16
- God’s calling and expectation of His people is to love both God and others. Matthew 22:36-40, Romans 3:8-10
- God’s desire is for His people to act with both justice and mercy, and to have relationship with Him. Micah 6:8
- Our behaviour as Christians cannot earn us favour in God’s eyes. Our relationship with God is only based on the merits of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and we receive the promises and blessings of God through faith alone. Galatians 3:10-14
- The law, God’s expectations for us, does not have power to make us right with God or to make us new. That power comes from the gospel. Romans 8:3-4
- Through faith and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are empowered to become more like Christ and live according to His plan for us. Colossians 3:1-17
- Everything we do must have a strong foundation of God’s Word. (Matthew 7:24-27)
As a school, ACA has high expectations concerning standards of behaviour, and these standards are based on God’s expectations as contained in the Bible and most clearly articulated in the 10 Commandments. Here, we find the commands to love and respect God and His name, honour and respect all those in authority, and treat others in ways which protect and uphold their wellbeing, possessions, and reputations. We expect all members of our school community to accept these standards of Godly behaviour, both as a public testimony of our shared faith and to protect the integrity and culture of our school.
Our goals are that all members of our community, and specifically our students, learn these standards, desire to live by them, and have the courage to do what is right, even when it is difficult.
We understand that while God’s Law sets the standards for good behaviour, it is unable to nurture a desire to do what is right. Only God’s forgiving power and unconditional love can work this desire in our hearts. We know that forgiveness is available to all who, in faith, repent of their sin and confess Jesus as their Lord. It is in this context that we can help our students recognize when they have done wrong, offer them forgiveness, and help them live according to God’s desire for our lives.
It is in this context that we can help our students recognize when they have done wrong, offer them forgiveness, and help them live according to God’s desire for our lives. The students then are free to learn in a setting which both upholds high moral standards and allows for a loving, safe environment where we can learn to live with each other in a community.
With this understanding, this policy clarifies the expectations of Godly behaviour in our school community.
That all members of our school community will positively contribute to a Godly school culture that reflects our Christian faith, supports students, and glorifies God.
The following expectations apply to all members of our school community, including Board members, Employees, Volunteers, Parents/Guardians or Students and apply to all situations, both in and out of school.
- We are all called to ensure our speech is gracious, truthful, gentle, encouraging and glorifying of God; therefore, the following is unacceptable:
- Vulgar or suggestive speech (Ephesians 5:4)
- Gossip or slander towards an individual or group (Proverbs 26:20)
- Intimidation (Ephesians 6:9)
- Threats of violence (Psalm 11:5)
- Lying (Exodus 20:16)
- Swearing (Exodus 20:7)
- We are called to act in ways that reflect our faith, honour God, uphold and protect others, and show Godly love; therefore, the following is unacceptable:
- Stealing (Exodus 20:15)
- Drunkenness (Galatians 5:21)
- Violence against another (1 John. 3:11; Matthew 22:39; Jeremiah 22:3)
- Any kind of sexual misconduct including
- Viewing or reading of pornographic material (Philippians 4:8)
- Lewd or suggestive speech or behavior (Ephesians 5:3-7)
- Sexual contact outside of biblical marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18; I Thessalonians 4:3-7; Hebrews 13:4: Exodus 20:14; Romans 1:26-27; Galatians 5:19-21)
- Sorcery or Witchcraft (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Isaiah 8:19; Galatians 5:20)
- Vandalism (Romans 12:17-21)
- Choosing to marry an unbeliever (II Corinthians 6:14). In this case, we recognize that as a school, we cannot do more than encourage this in our parent community; however, this remains a foundational standard of expectation for staff and leaders in the school.
- None of these prohibited activities shall in any way be promoted or approved by the School through speech, written material, or example.
- School Board members, Employees, Volunteers, Parents/Guardians or Students who encourage (actively or passively) others to engage in any of these prohibited activities may be held equally liable to discipline or removal from the school.
- All School Board members, Employees, Volunteers and Students shall conduct themselves in such a way as to avoid the appearance of evil and possible false accusations. For example, special care shall be taken when meeting with or transporting any Student or Employee on an individual basis.
- If an adult member of the ACA community feels that someone else in the community has violated the moral conduct expectations of the school and that they have been harmed, they are to follow the process Jesus defined in Matthew 18:15-19:
- Address it privately with the person who has caused harm. If this does not lead to reconciliation, or if there is a situation where the person harmed feels intimidated because of an inequity of power or position,
- Take one or two others with you to address it. In the case of students, this may involve teachers and/or parents. If this does not lead to reconciliation,
- Bring the concern to school administration.
Everyone involved in reporting or investigating an incident of moral misconduct shall speak about the matter only to those individuals who can be a part of the solution. Thus, Students shall not talk to other Students, and Employees and Volunteers shall not talk to other Employees or Volunteers. All conversation shall be directed to those individuals investigating the matter or to an adult (e.g. Parent, Pastor) who can assume the role of counselor.
A special note: parents of the school community should not address concerns directly with students that are not their own children, but should refer these concerns to school administration, who then may call together students and parents of all involved.
- If students feel that someone else in the community has violated the moral conduct expectations of the school and that they have been harmed, they are encouraged to seek assistance from a staff member, member of the school administration, or parent to assist them in resolving the matter in a Godly way.
- If school administration becomes aware of a situation where a member of the school community is violating the Code of Moral Conduct, and that the culture and witness of the school is being harmed, the school administration will seek to courageously and gently bring repentance, correction, and restoration of relationship. The following processes will apply:
- In the case of students, address the situation according to the Student Discipline Policy.
- In the case of staff, address the situation according to the Staff Supervision and Discipline Policy.
- In the case of volunteers, school administration shall diligently determine the details of the situation by interviewing all involved, documenting the results, and addressing the situation in a Godly way that seeks repentance, restoration of damages done, and reconciliation. If the process leads to a conclusion that this goal is not possible or that the infraction is of a serious enough matter that continued service as a volunteer would harm the community, the administration of the school has the right and responsibility to limit or eliminate the individual’s rights to volunteer. This decision will be put in writing and the individual may appeal this decision in writing to the School Board. The decision of the School Board will be final. If the volunteer serves on the School Board, Administration will work with the remaining members of the Board and a Pastor of the community to investigate and address the situation and bring a recommendation to the remaining Board members.
- In the case that members of the School Administration have broken the Code of Moral Conduct, the chair of the School Board shall convene a committee of at least three members of the ACA community that includes a Pastor of the community to investigate and address the situation, and bring a recommendation to the Board.
- In the case of parents, School Administration shall address the situation with the desire to bring repentance, restoration of damages done, and reconciliation. If these goals are not achieved, School Administration may deem that the parents have excluded themselves from the agreement made with the school and may lead to a situation where the students are not admitted to the school in the following school year. This decision will be put in writing and the parent may appeal this decision in writing to the School Board. The decision of the School Board will be final.
- When investigating situations, best practices include:
- Those investigating must take care to balance the rights of the accused with the rights of the victim, and taking due care to guard the reputation of the School. Those investigating shall operate under the twin assumptions that the accusation might be true and that it might not be true. The goal is to determine the truth of the matter. Attention shall be directed to obtaining specific details regarding events, dates, and times. A written record of the investigation shall be kept by the investigating authority.
- Interviews of Employees, Volunteers, Parents/Guardians and Students should be conducted by a minimum of two individuals, at least one of whom will be the same sex as the person being interviewed. Those interviewed shall be given the option of having an individual accompany them at this interview.
- Where there are indications that sexual misconduct involving Students has occurred, their Parents/Guardians will be notified immediately except in a case where there is a possibility that the Parent/Guardian himself or herself is involved. In this case, civil authorities will be notified immediately in order that they may conduct an investigation which is beyond the jurisdiction of the School.
- School Board members, Employees, Volunteers, Students, or Parents/Guardians whose actions give cause to believe there is a violation of the law (assault, sexual harassment, sexual or physical abuse, etc.), shall immediately be reported to the appropriate civil authorities.
- The Principal shall ensure that Employees, Volunteers, Students, and Parents/Guardians are informed of this policy on an annual basis. Every Employee shall annually indicate that they have read, understand, and agree to abide by the Moral Conduct Policy. This will be kept on file with their annual contract.
- The Principal shall ensure that the School curriculum addresses, at each grade level, the issues in this policy which are appropriate to that grade.