Carthage R-IX

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P 0340 Code of Ethics

A Board member should honor the high responsibility which his/her membership demands:

  1. By thinking always in terms of "children first."
  2. By understanding that the basic function of the Board member is "policy-making" and not "administrative" and by accepting the responsibility of learning to intelligently discriminate between these two functions.
  3. By accepting the responsibility along with fellow Board members of seeing that the maximum of facilities and resources is provided for the proper functioning of the schools.
  4. By refusing to "play politics" in either the traditional partisan manner or in any petty sense.
  5. By representing at all times the entire school community.
  6. By accepting the responsibility of becoming well informed concerning the duties of Board members and the proper functions of public schools.
  7. By recognizing responsibility as a state official to seek the improvement of education throughout the state.

A Board member should respect his/her relationship with other members of the Board:

  1. By recognizing that authority rests with the Board in official meetings and that the individual member has no legal status to bind the Board outside of such meetings.
  2. By recognizing the integrity of predecessors and associates and the merit of their work.
  3. By refusing to make statements or promises as to how he/she will vote on any matter which should properly come before the Board as a whole.
  4. By making decisions only after all facts bearing on a question have been presented and discussed.
  5. By respecting the opinion of others and by graciously conforming to the principle of "majority rule."
  6. By refusing to participate in irregular meetings such as "secret" or "star chamber" sessions, which are not official, and which all members do not have an opportunity to attend.

A Board member should maintain desirable relations with the Superintendent and his/her staff:

  1. By striving to procure, when the vacancy exists, the best professional leader available for the head administrative post.
  2. By giving the Superintendent full administrative authority for properly discharging professional duties, and by also holding him/her responsible for acceptable results.
  3. By acting only upon the recommendation of the Superintendent in matters of employment or dismissal of school personnel.
  4. By having the Superintendent present at all meetings of the Board.
  5. By referring all complaints to the proper administrative office and by discussing them only at a regular meeting after failure of administrative solution.
  6. By striving to provide adequate safeguards around the Superintendent and other staff members to the end that they can live happily and comfortably in the community and discharge their educational functions on a thoroughly professional basis.
  7. By presenting personal criticisms of any employee directly to the Superintendent and/or appropriate administrator.

A Board member should meet his/her responsibilities to the community:

  1. By attempting to appraise fairly both the present and future educational needs of the community.
  2. By regarding it as a major responsibility of the Board to interpret the aims and the methods of the schools to the community.
  3. By insisting that all school business transactions be on an open, ethical and above-board basis.
  4. By vigorously seeking adequate financial support for the schools.
  5. By refusing to use his/her position on the Board in any way, whatsoever, for personal gain or for personal prestige.
  6. By winning the community's confidence that all is being done in the best interests of the children.

Board Approved Date: July 2003
Last Updated: July 2003