Monday, December 31, 2012

Fox C-6 School Board Code of Ethics from Board Policy 0340

The Fox C-6 School Board Code of Ethics below is pulled directly from the latest copy of the "completely overhauled" copy of the Fox C-6 School Board policies.  The school board is still working on updating and approving this new version of the policies after originally posting them to the district website on April 17, 2012.  The school board met at 6:15PM in the months of November and December 2012 to spend time reviewing and discussing changes and updates to the board polices.  What I find sad is the fact that many of the school board policies have been on the books since November 1997 and they STILL contain numerous typographical and grammatical errors.  In my opinion, it simply demonstrates to me that our school board members have never read the policies and regulations that they are charged with developing and upholding.

Once you read many of our school board policies, I think you will find, at least in my opinion, that our school board violates their own policies quite often at least if they were to follow them as they are "supposed" to be written (ignoring typographical and grammatical errors).

But, to get you started here is the policy that blatantly stood out to me.  It is Policy 0340 covering the School Board Organization and Code of Ethics.  The text was copied directly from the March 2012 updated documents which you can find still on the district website for the Public to download.  In an email response I received from Dianne Brown-Critchlow, I was told that she was not going to post them on the website for the public as she said she would at the March 2012 board meeting.  But, after I emailed her a copy of a transcript of her exact words from the March 2012 school board meeting that I audio recorded, she changed her mind and emailed me a copy and posted them on the website for the public to review.

I encourage you to read the School Board Code of Ethics below very carefully.  I have copied the text verbatim from the board policies.  I highlighted in yellow typographical or grammatical errors.  This policy has very few mistakes compared to others.  I also wanted to point out some of my areas of concern that I have highlighted in green.  The green highlighted text contains important statements in the Code of Ethics that I feel that our school board has not been following for the last several years.

This policy and many others were adopted directly from the Missouri School Board Association documentation. as noted in the policy itself below.  You can go and find other school district policies online and compare their text to the text we have at Fox.

Fox C-6's school board policies are adopted from Thomas Mickes' Missouri Consultants for Education, LLC company.  Mr. Mickes is the senior partner of the school district's current law firm of Mickes Goldman O'Toole.  Missouri Consultants for Education, LLC creates and provides a service of providing school board policies to school districts across the state of Missouri.  This service costs $1500 for NON-MUSIC members for initial adoption and then $500 annually for updates.

The Missouri United School Insurance Council (MUSIC) is an insurance group that provides coverage to school districts across the state of Missouri.  Fox is currently not a member of MUSIC but is covered by another insurance group.  The Missouri School Board Association has their own version of school board policies that they also provide as a service to school districts across the state and both entities update these policies annually and throughout the year as laws in our state change.

School Board Organization
Code of Ethics

The School District Board of Education accepts the code of ethics adopted by the Missouri School Board’s Association Delegate Assembly, as modified herein:

We, the members of the Missouri School Board Associations, accept these truths:
1.  That the basic function of public education in the United State is to provide all children with an effective opportunity to learn the facts, skills, and thinking patterns needed to prepare them for a fully satisfying and productive life.

2.  That it is essential for the development of a democratic citizenry and the maintenance of our national ideals that acceptable educational opportunities for all children be available on an equal basis.

3.  That the ideals and motives of the school Board members influence the quality of education in the schools.

As a member of the school Board, I shall:

1.  Abide by laws of the Sate of Missouri.

2.  Attempts, when possible, to make use of applicable laws or regulations that will improve the quality of our schools.

3.  Accept the responsibility of carrying out locally the statewide program of making education opportunity available for each child.

4.  Attempt to maintain the effectiveness of the local school system as it relates to the effectiveness of the state educational program.

5.  Work at all times to further local control of education.

As member of the school Board, I shall:

1.  Endeavor to understand the present and future educational needs of the community.

2.  Maintain the public trust through full and open communication.

3.  Insist that school funds be spent prudently and effectively to provide maximum educational benefits.

4.  Avoid domination by cliques and other partisan or self-seeking groups.

5.  Recognize that the public schools are agencies of the state for betterment of the entire community.

6.  Encourage citizens to participate through channels in shaping the purposes and policies of the local school system.

As a member of the school Board, I shall:

1.  Accept my policy-making responsibilities and require the Superintendent to administer the school in accordance with those policies.

2.  Delegate to the Superintendent of schools and other school employees authority in keeping with their responsibilities.

3.  Recognize that all lines of administrative responsibility to and from the employed personnel should extend to the Board of Education through the office of the Superintendent.

4.  Demand that the schools be operated by the best trained technical and professional personnel it is possible to procure.

5.  Employ only such qualified employees as are properly recommended by the Superintendent of schools.

6.  Involve members of the staff in planning proposed policies through proper channels.

7.  Insist that the Superintendent be responsible for keeping the Board properly informed on school matters at all times.

8.  Refer all complaints to the proper administrative officer.

9.  Notify the Superintendent in writing of any personal criticism that is used in an adverse evaluation of an employee.

10.  Encourage and promote the professional growth of teachers so that they may better perform their unique function.

As a member of the school Board, I shall:

1.  Contribute to and take an active part in Board discussions and avoid abstaining from Board votes unless abstention is required by law.

2.  Respect the rights of others to advance and defend their opinions on an issued under consideration.

3.  Make my decisions only after judicious consideration of the evidence and viewpoints of competent and/or interested individuals.

4.  Accept and abide by all legally approved decisions of the Board, regardless of my previous opinions.

5.  Respect the confidential business of the Board and refrain from discussing such business outside of Board meetings.

6.  Recognize that official action is an expression of the membership of the Board, and that initial announcement of such action will come from the president of the Board.

As a member of the school Board, I shall:

1.  Refuse to enter into unprincipled bidding with other school Boards for the services of teachers or other employees.

2.  Employ no teacher or other person who is under contract to another school Board until that person has been released by the contracting Board.

3.  Give to an inquiring Board the kind of appraisal of a teacher or other person seeking employment I would expect to receive from the Board if I were making inquiry.

Furthermore, I shall:

a.  Direct all recommendations of teachers and other employees only to those making inquiry.

b.  Withhold recommendation of a teacher or other employee until pertinent facts that may influence the recommendation are known.

c.  Encourage an interchange of thought with other boards.

d.  Remember that the education of the children in the school district of another board is as important to the board as the education of the children in this District is to this School Board.


Adopted: 11/97
Consolidated School District No. 6 (Fox)