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Ethical Guidelines for Teachers and Leaders
Our Teachers and Leaders share the view of interdependence and recognize their great responsibility to act with decency and compassion in their community and the world. To support this intention, we practice Buddhist ethical principles as detailed below, to create and foster harmony personally, interpersonally, and collectively. We are also committed to ongoing training and development to create a safe and welcoming community for all.
1. We commit to be of benefit and refrain from causing harm. We understand that every thought, word, and deed has an affect on countless beings, and we vow to cultivate compassionate and wise actions for the benefit of all. This includes respect for other people’s rights and dignity, regardless of age, physical limitations, race, creed, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
2. We commit to the practice of generosity and refrain from stealing. We will not possess anything that belongs to others and gladly share our time, attention, wisdom, and understanding with our students. We will acknowledge the limitations of our skills and scope of practice, and where appropriate, refer students to seek alternative instruction, advice, treatment, or direction.
3. We commit to honesty and careful listening, and refrain from divisive and harmful speech. We understand gossip and malicious speech affect individuals as well as the entire community. We agree to speak that which is true and useful, and to hold in confidence what is explicitly told to us in confidence. We agree to develop conscious and clear communication, and to cultivate the quality of loving-kindness and honesty as the basis of our speech.
4. We commit to practicing respectful and responsible sexual relationships. We understand our roles include protecting the safety and integrity of the individuals, couples, and families in our community. We further understand that:
• A sexual relationship is inappropriate between teachers and their formal, one-on-one students.
• Sexual harassment is unacceptable. Sexual harassment is sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature, that is unwelcome, is offensive or creates a hostile workplace or educational environment. Sexual harassment by an IDP Teacher or Leader should be immediately brought to the attention of the Board of Directors by emailing our board chair, Renee Bochman.
• Should a genuine and committed relationship develop over time between a single teacher or leader and a formal, one-on-one student, the student-teacher or student-leader relationship must clearly and consciously be dissolved before any sexual relationship occurs. A minimum time period of three months or longer from the last formal teaching between them, and a clear understanding from both parties that the student-teacher or student-leader relationship has ended, must be coupled with a conscious commitment to enter into a relationship that brings no harm to either party.
5. We commit to the practice of responsible consumption. We practice good mental and physical health through mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. We will not over-indulge in alcohol, gambling, or drugs. We will avoid consuming other products that may cloud the mind, such as might be found on the internet, electronic games, films, and television. We commit to understanding and respecting the interdependent nature of all beings, including the earth. Should any teacher or leader develop a drug or alcohol addiction problem, it should be immediately brought to the attention of the Board of Directors by emailing our board chair, Renee Bochman.