1221 - Code of Ethics
|Policy: Board of Education Code of Ethics & Conduct||Policy Number: 1221|
|Date of Original Policy: 07/10/2002||Date Revision Adopted: 10/14/2020|
|Reviewed by Policy Committee: 09/16/2020||Date of Next Review: 09/17/2021|
|Replacement of Policy Number:|
The Jordan Elbridge Central School District Board of Education is committed to the following:
a. Assure the opportunity for high quality education for every student and make the well being of the students the fundamental principle in all decisions and actions;
b. Represent the entire District without fear or favor, while not using these positions for personal gain and accepting all responsibilities as means of unselfish service.
c. Maintain high standards and the effectiveness of education through continuing professional development.
d. Preserve the obligation of having all issues considered fairly and without bias.
Based on these commitments, the Board hereby establishes the following code of ethics and Conduct for each of its members:
a. Instill respect for community, state and nation.
b. To observe and enforce state laws and regulations pertaining to education.
c. To accept office as a Board Member as a means of unselfish service.
d. To transact school business only in regular sessions.
e. To represent the entire community without fear or favor.
f. To remember at all times that he/she is one of a team.
g. To accept all Board decisions once they are made and assist in carrying them out effectively.
h. To delegate action to the Chief School Administrator as the Board executive and to confine Board action to policy making, planning and appraisal.
i. To employ only competent, trained personnel, considering the recommendation of the Chief School Administrator.
j. To preserve the right and obligation of teachers to teach controversial issues fairly and without bias.
The rules of ethical conduct of this policy shall not conflict with, but be in addition to the prohibitions of Article 18 of the New York State General Municipal Law relating to conflicts of interest of school district officers and employees.
“Interest”- A pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a Board member.
Gifts - A Board member, officer or employee shall not , directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or receive any gift having a value of $75.00 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loans, travel, entertainment, hospitality, or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that: the gift was intended to influence the individual or could reasonably be expected to influence the performance of official duties; or was intended as a reward for any official action on the individual’s part.
This shall not be construed as prohibiting the traditional exchange of holiday gifts provided discretion is used to ensure that gifts of value are not accepted by staff, employees, or officers. Gifts from children that are principally sentimental in nature and or insignificant financial value may be accepted in the spirit in which they are given.
Confidential Information - A Board member or it’s committees, officer or employee shall not disclose confidential information acquired in the course of official duties, or use such information to further a personal interest or obtain and advantage for friends or supporters. Confidential information includes information protected by law, and information obtained in Executive Sessions of the Board or it committees.
To ensure the confidentiality of information obtained, executive sessions will not be taped, nor will the information obtained be reduced to any form of writing.
Representation Before the Board - A Board member, officer or employee shall not receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation (contingent or otherwise) for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the Board of Education.
Disclosure of Interest in Matters Before the Board
a. Any Board member, officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in discussions or gives an official opinion to the Board of Education on any matter before it, shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he/she has with respect to the matter under discussion.
b. Any Board member who has any direct or indirect financial interest, or other private interest, in any matter before the Board of Education, shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of the interest prior to any discussion on the matter, presuming the matter can legally come before the Board for action.
Conflict of Interest - A Board member, officer or employee shall not invest or hold any investment directly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction that creates a conflict with Board responsibilities and duties, unless permitted by law. Education Law §3016 requires a two-thirds vote by the board to employ a teacher who is related by blood or marriage to a school board member. The two-thirds vote requirement does not apply or have an effect on the continued employment of a tenured teacher who is hired before his/her relative is elected or appointed to the school board.
Private Employment - A Board member, officer or employee shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept employment from or service private interests when it creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of official school district duties.
a) As part of the educational team each Board member, officer shall act with mutual respect and regard for each other’s responsibility and duties, recognizing that the strength of a Board of Education is action as a board, not as individuals. Board members only have authority to act when acting at a duly called meeting of the Board. A vote of the majority shall determine any action, unless otherwise required by law, and the action then becomes the action of the entire Board. Board members shall not hold themselves out as speaking on behalf of the Board unless directly authorized by appropriate action of the Board. Individually, a Board member’s rights are not greater or different than those of any qualified voter of the school district. If speaking in their individual capacity about school district matters, Board members shall directly indicate that they are not speaking on behalf of the Board nor are they acting in their capacity as a Board member.
b) Board members and officers shall become familiar with state, federal and local laws affecting the educational goals and objective of the Jordan-Elbridge Central School District and shall abide by all laws and regulations pertaining to education and municipal entities.
c) In order to increase their knowledge of the school district’s operations, Board responsibilities and legal obligations, Board members and officers shall take advantage of opportunities to participate in applicable conferences, seminars, lectures, and/or webinars.
Distribution/Posting of Code of Ethics
The Superintendent of the Jordan-Elbridge Central School District shall cause a copy of this code of ethics to be distributed to every Board member of the School District within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this resolution. Each Board member elected thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his/her office by the District Clerk. The Superintendent shall also cause a copy of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law to be kept posted in each building in the District in a place conspicuous to its Board members. Failure to distribute any such copy of this code of ethics or failure of any Board member to receive such copy, as well as failure to post any such copy of General Municipal Law, Article 18, shall have no effect on the duty of compliance with such code or Article 18, nor with the enforcement of provisions thereof.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any provision of this code may be fined, suspended, or removed from office or employment, in the manner provided by law.
General Municipal Law, Article 18
Public Officers Law, Article 7
Education Law, §1701, §1804