The Kern High School District's Board of Education approved a policy at its meeting Monday night that explains what interactions are deemed inappropriate between staff members and students.

It is the first policy of its kind that focuses on the boundaries between employees and students, district officials said, and applies to all staff, volunteers and community members.

The policy states activities that can create the appearance of impropriety include being alone with a student out of the view of others; inviting or allowing students to visit the employee's home; remaining on campus with student(s) after the last administrator leaves the school site; and/or visiting a student's home unless home visits are a required and expected duty of the adult.

It also states employees should not maintain personal contact with a student outside of school by phone, letter, electronic communication or other means without including the parent/guardian and/or school principal. The district email and district communication devices are the preferred methods to use when communicating electronically with students.

In regards to social media, employees should not communicate with students through the use of a medium that is designed to eliminate all traces or records of the communication, such as the app Snapchat, and should not follow or accept requests from current students or non-adult former students to be friends or connections on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The district has had policies in place regarding professional standards and computer and network usage.

The newly adopted policy comes after several district employees have been investigated for alleged inappropriate conduct with students. Some have been criminally charged, and the district has also been sued in civil court in some cases.

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