The following policies and practices are intended to support staff and students and their families by being as clear as possible about safe and professional conduct. Fusion Education Group is committed to providing equal educational opportunity in its programs and activities, without discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, gender, gender orientation, sexual orientation, disability, or other distinguishing characteristics. Fusion also prohibits harassment and bullying based on any of these characteristics by students, faculty members, administrators, and other members of the Fusion community. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
- Name-calling, epithets, slurs
- Derogatory jokes or comments, verbal or written
- Negative stereotyping or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts
- Interfering with, damaging, or destroying property
- Sexual innuendo
- Written or graphic material that insults or shows hostility, intolerance, or aversion toward an individual or group because of a protected characteristic
- Physical conduct including gestures, assault, unwanted touching/grabbing/pinching/brushing against/poking, intentionally blocking normal movement
- Communication via electronic media of any type that includes any conduct that is prohibited by state and/or federal law, or by Fusion policy
- Unwanted invitations or sexual advances
- Retaliation for reporting or threatening to report harassment.
Fusion does not tolerate any forms of prohibited harassment towards any Fusion stakeholders (including students, parents, guardians, co-workers, etc.).
Sexual misconduct with a student is improper and, in some cases, illegal. “Sexual misconduct” means any act including, but not limited to any verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication or physical activity, by an employee or agent of Fusion with direct contact with a student that is directed toward or with a student to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the student. Such an act includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
- A sexual or romantic invitation
- Dating or soliciting a date
- Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialog
- Making sexually suggestive comments that are directed toward or with a student
- Self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic, or erotic nature
- A sexual, indecent, romantic, or erotic contact with the student.
- Acting in any way that could be construed as ‘grooming’ a student, a guardian, or another person believed to be that student’s guardian. This includes in-person acts, and/or any conduct through a third party, and written communication in which a person commits any sex offense as applicable to the Sex Offender Registration Act and/or local or state Criminal Code.
Pursuant to Faith’s Law and Public Act 102-0676, 105 ILCS 5/2-3.188, Illinois residents may reference the Sexual Abuse Response and prevention Resource Guide.
Appropriate Student and Staff Boundaries
Fusion aims to provide a safe learning environment and promote healthy relationships between students and staff. As such, additional policies have been put in place to ensure those goals are met.
- Staff and currently enrolled students should not communicate on any personal social media sites except in the following situations: (a) communication with your own relative; or (b) if an emergency requires such communication.
- Personal contact information should not be shared between staff and students unless checked with and agreed to by the Head of School and the student’s parents.
- Staff should not transport students in their own vehicles, especially one-to-one, without the consent of the student, parent, and Head of School. When employees drive students to or from an activity, such driving must be approved by the Head of School, and appropriate insurance and driver’s license must be validated.
- Staff members should always try to defuse situations without physical intervention. They may intervene to prevent a student from injuring themselves or others. Staff may use only reasonable force that is warranted by the circumstances of the incident, and that is in proportion to the seriousness of the behavior or the consequences it is intended to prevent. However, Fusion staff is never expected to intervene in any circumstance where they may put themselves in a position of physical harm. In the event that a situation arises where students may be perceived to injure themselves or others, staff must immediately contact the campus administration and in some cases the local emergency response agencies may be notified.
- No Fusion employee shall take or post a photo or video of any student, for personal possession at any time. All photos and videos must have parental, guardian or self (if 18 years or older) permission as outlined on the enrollment contract and may only be used for Fusion promotional purposes.
- Staff should not behave in a manner that would lead any reasonable person to question their suitability to work with children or to act as a role model.
- Staff members must complete training on appropriate boundaries on an annual basis.
- All staff who have contact with students are Mandated Reporters for child abuse and must complete state-specific training. This training must be completed upon hire and will typically be reviewed annually. Any employee, classified by applicable state law, that comes in direct contact with a student must report any suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. A report must be made within 24 hours if the following is observed:
- A minor who has physical injury or injuries which appear to have been inflicted upon him/her by other than accidental means, by any person.
- A minor that has been the victim of sexual misconduct, sexually molested, or that any unjustifiable pain or mental suffering has been inflicted upon the minor.
If any Fusion employee observes or becomes aware of what appears to be child abuse (including neglect) that person must contact the appropriate member of the School Operations team immediately. Additionally, staff members must complete mandated reporter trainings at the interval determined by their state.
Notification of Violation
Students, families, or staff members who observe or experience possible sexual misconduct, harassment or discrimination are asked to report their concerns as soon as possible.
- Step 1: A report should be made to a member of the campus administrative team.
- Step 2: If the problem cannot be resolved with your campus administrative team, or if it involves a campus administrator, then it should be reported to the District Vice President of Operations and/or Regional Vice President of Operations for your campus. If you need help determining who that person is or finding their contact information, you may contact our Homebase office at 616-301-1221.
- Step 3: If the problem remains unresolved or you feel uncomfortable raising it with the level of management in Step 2, you may contact management at any level in the organization.
Fusion takes these matters seriously. Investigations and consequences shall be in accordance with the Employee Handbook and Student Handbook.
Illinois Educator Code of Ethics
In addition to Fusion’s policies above, all employees of Fusion campuses located in Illinois must review and adhere to the Illinois Educator Code of Ethics. The Illinois Educators’ Code of Ethics is a set of core principles, values, and responsibilities that sets expectations to guide practice and inspire professional excellence in relation to federal, state, and local policies, rules, regulations, and collective bargaining agreements. Illinois educators encourage the application of these core principles throughout the education community. The Illinois Educator Code of Ethics contains five core principles which provide a foundation for the responsibilities and commitments of Illinois Educators.
1. Responsibility to Students
2. Responsibility to Self
3. Responsibility to Colleagues and the Profession
4. Responsibility to Parents, Families and Communities
5. Responsibility to the Illinois State Board of Education