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Prince William School Board Adopts Code of Ethics

| November 16, 2016 | 0 Comments | Education
Brentsville temporary School Board member Shawn Brann advocates for Code of Ethics.

Brentsville’s replacement school board member Shawn Brann advocates for a School Board Code of Ethics.

The Prince William County School Board voted unanimously, Tuesday evening, to adopt a Code of Ethic for their board.

The code was created by board members during retreats where they were able to work collaboratively together.

Some key aspects of the code are as follows.

  1. “I recognize that decisions are made by majority vote and, once made, should be supported by all Board members. I will respect the right of other Board members to have opinions and ideas that differ.”
  1. “I will hold confidential all matters pertaining to the Prince William County Public Schools which, if disclosed, would needlessly injure individuals or the School Division, and all information that is private and/or privileged under applicable law and School Board policies and regulations, including but not limited to, all material and information pertaining to closed session and all matters protected by the attorney/client privilege.”
  1. “I will always remember that my first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare and academic performance of all students attending the public schools and will make decisions in terms of the educational welfare of all children in the School Division, regardless of magisterial district, ability, race, religion, national origin, sex, or social standing.”
  1. “I acknowledge that individual Board members have no authority to direct Division staff. I will give staff the respect and consideration due skilled professional employees and will support and protect school personnel in proper performance of their duties. I will follow the chain of command and refer problems and complaints to the Division Superintendent for referral to the proper administrative office.”
  1. “I refuse to surrender my independent judgment to special interest or partisan political groups or to use my position for personal gain or prestige or for the gain of friends or political allies.”

Read the entire code here:

Brentsville’s school board representative Shawn Brann compared the code to the scouting code he had taken as a child. Woodbridge representative Loree Williams said it was a nice foundation to “move us into the future,” as the county grows.

Occoquan board member Lillie Jessie said that the board was looking for “strains of commonality” such as recognizing that the welfare and academic achievement of students is paramount.

Wilk told the School Board audience that the Code was really a collaborative effort. However, Coles representative Willie Deutsch said it was unfortunate the chairman was not more involved.

Sawyers responded that was not able to attend one Saturday retreat due to a work commitment, but he was otherwise involved in the process, reviewing the document and staying in contact with other board members.

The creation of the code follows tumultuous times for the board. Dr. Michael Bishop, Principal of Patriot High School in Nokesville, is suing Chairman At-large Ryan Sawyers and Potomac Representative Justin Wilk for delaying his employment contract.

The board has also received criticism for the way some members went about the Hampton Middle School renaming and the attempt to appointment a Democrat to replace Brentsville School Board member Gil Trenum. Recently, one citizens group has even called to recall Chairman Sawyers.

© 2016, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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