Classroom Interpreters - Professional Conduct Guidelines
Legal Requirements for Individuals Who Work in Public Schools
All schools have legal requirements regarding some types of behavior. Educational interpreters are not exempt from reporting information to their supervisors and should know the policies and procedures of their specific school. In general, the following guidelines should be followed:
- Report child abuse and neglect − All individuals who work in a public school must report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the proper authorities. The interpreter must know and follow school policy or he or she may be held legally responsible.
- Report unlawful activity − Interpreters should inform students that they must report any conversations where the student admits to unlawful activity, such as drug and alcohol abuse, bringing weapons to school, etc. The student should understand that communications with the interpreter outside of class are no different than communications with teachers and other school personnel. Any communication that occurs outside of the interpreted classroom activity is not confidential. The educational interpreter can be subpoenaed to testify in a court of law.
- Protect the safety and welfare of all students − Interpreters should always act to protect the safety of all students in the classroom, not just the student who is deaf or hard of hearing.