Board of Education Code of Ethics
WHEREAS, The welfare of the community, state and nation is directly affected by the quality of public education focused to the greatest possible degree on individual abilities and potentialities; andWHEREAS, The ideas, attitudes and motives of school board members substantially influence their decisions concerning the quality of education in the schools; therefore be it RESOLVED, In order to encourage Lawton Public Schools Board of Education to act in accordance with high professional and moral standards, the Lawton Public Schools Board of Education has established a code of basic principles and ethical standards for school board members acting individually and collectively in the management of the Lawton Public Schools in Lawton, Oklahoma. The Lawton Public Schools Board of Education shall adhere to these principles and standards.
Basic Principles and Procedures
The Lawton Public Schools Board of Education in Lawton, Oklahoma accepts the obligation to operate the public schools in accordance with the fundamental principles and standards of school management. These principles include, but are not limited to the following:
- The Board formulates written policy for the administration of schools to be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary.
- The Board exercises legislative, policymaking, planning, and appraising functions and delegates administrative functions in the operation of schools.
- The Board recognizes its especially critical responsibility for selecting the superintendent. The Board will define the superintendent’s responsibilities, help to formulate goals and evaluate performance regularly, without directly engaging in administrative processes.
- The Board accepts and encourages a variety of opinions from and communication with all parts of the community.
- The Board makes public relevant institutional information in order to promote communication and understanding between the school system and the community.
- The Board acts on legislative and policy-making matters only after examining all pertinent facts and considering the superintendent’s recommendations.
- The Board conducts meetings with planned and published agendas.
- The Board encourages and promotes professional growth of school staff so that quality of instruction and support services may continually be improved.
- The Board establishes and maintains procedural steps for resolving complaints and criticisms of school affairs.
- The Board acts only through public meetings and individual board members have no authority to bind the Board.
Ethical StandardsThe Lawton Public Schools Board of Education holds the belief that maximum results will be achieved only if high ethical standards of conduct are maintained in all personal business and public activities beginning with the universally accepted precept of treating others as everyone would like to be treated. More specific standards include but are not limited to the following:
- Ethical standards for all members of the Board:
- The first and greatest concern is the educational welfare of all students attending the public schools.
- Obey the laws of Oklahoma and the United States.
- Respect the confidentiality of privileged information.
- Recognize that an individual member of the Board has no authority to speak for the entire Board.
- Work with other members to establish effective policies.
- Delegate authority for the administration of the schools to the superintendent and staff.
- Encourage ongoing communications among members of the board, the Board, students, staff and the community.
- Unless excused for good cause, attend all meetings of the Board and be informed concerning the issues to be considered at each meeting.
- Render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment rather than succumbing to the influence of individuals or special interest groups.
- Study educational issues and participate in in-service programs.
- Support the employment of staff members based on qualifications and not as a result of influence.
- Avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof.
- Refrain from using the board position for the benefit of family members, business associates, or myself.
- Express personal opinions but once the board has acted, accept the will of the majority.
- Avoid the use of abusive, threatening or intimidating language or gestures directed toward colleagues, citizens, or staff.
- Diligently exercise the Board’s oversight role, questioning where appropriate but avoiding personal attacks.
- Work to create a positive environment in all meetings and contacts where the community will feel comfortable as observers or participants.
- Be respectful, attentive, and concise.
Whenever a member believes that another has violated this code of ethics it is incumbent on him or her to bring the issue first to the person, then to the President of the Board who shall immediately investigate the allegation and, if substantiated and not resolved, bring the issue to the full Board in executive session.