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Helix High To Adopt Teacher Behavior Policy

Charter school officials at Helix High School in La Mesa are likely to approve a policy today that seeks to prevent teachers from having sexual relations with their students. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintoca

Charter school officials at Helix High School in La Mesa are likely to approve a policy today that seeks to prevent teachers from having sexual relations with their students. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.
 

Four former Helix High teachers have been convicted of sex crimes in the past two years.
 

The school is now spelling out what's acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
 

For example, the policy states no gifts, no kissing and no sexual jokes. Teachers also cannot touch students behind closed doors.
 

Ben Stone, a Helix teacher, says the rules are common sense, but they do help to clear up any gray areas. He says it’s a shame the four teachers have given the others a bad name.
 

Stone: These are not stupid individuals, they just made stupid things. And so I don't think a piece of paper (the policy) will make any difference. I think the vast majority of us know what's right, and know what's wrong.
 

An outside ethics group helped Helix craft the policy. School officials say its one of the most detailed in San Diego County. The district's Jennifer Osborn says the new rules may sound simple, but many schools don't have these policies on paper.
 

Osborn: There are no policies like this for the vast majority of school across the nation.
         

Helix teachers and school officials hope the new policy will help the staff make a fresh start. Stone hopes Helix moves past the controversy.  
 

Stone: I've seen all these other accolades piled on Helix (in the past), and now unfortunately, we've got to really do a lot of repair.
 

The policy also puts responsibility on other school employees to tell administrators if they know or hear about a colleague crossing the line.
 

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.