You are here

202.1 - School Board Code of Ethics

Board member actions, verbal and nonverbal, reflect the attitude and the beliefs of the school district. Therefore, board members must conduct themselves professionally and in a manner fitting to their position. Each board member shall follow the code of ethics stated in this policy.

I. As a school board member I will:

  1. Listen;
  2. Respect the opinion of others;
  3. Recognize the integrity of my predecessors and associates and the merit of their work;
  4. Be motivated only by an earnest desire to serve my district and the students in the best possible way;
  5. Not use the district or any part of the district’s programs for my own personal advantage or for the advantage of my friends or supporters;
  6. Vote for a closed session of the board if the situation requires it, but I will consider “star chamber” or “secret” sessions of board members unethical;
  7. Recognize that to promise in advance of a meeting how I will vote on any proposition which is to be considered is to close my mind and agree not to think through other facts and points of view which may be presented in the meeting;
  8. Expect to spend more time in board meetings on education programs and procedures than on business details;
  9. Recognize that authority rests with the board in legal session and not with individual members of the board, except as authorized by law;
  10. Make no disparaging remarks, in or out of board meetings, about other members of the board or their opinions;
  11. Express my honest and most thoughtful opinions frankly in board meetings in an effort to have decisions made for the best interests of the students and the education program;
  12. Insist that board members participate fully in board actions and recommend that when special committees are appointed, they serve only in an investigative and advisory capacity;
  13. Abide by majority decisions of the board;
  14. Carefully consider petitions, resolutions, and complaints and will act in the best interest of the school district;
  15. Not discuss the confidential business of the board in my home, on the street, or in my office; the place for such discussion is during board meetings; and
  16. Endeavor to keep informed on local, state, and national educational developments of significance so I may become a better board member.

II. In meeting my responsibility to the school district community I will:

  1. Consider myself a trustee of public education and will do my best to protect it, conserve it, and advance it; giving to the students of the school district community the educational facilities that are as complete and adequate as it is possible to provide;
  2. Consider it an important responsibility of the board to interpret the aims, methods, and attitudes of the school district to the community;
  3. Earnestly try to interpret the needs and attitudes of the school district community and do my best to translate them into the education program of the school district;
  4. Attempt to procure adequate financial support for the school district;
  5. Represent the entire school district rather than individual electors, patrons, or groups; and
  6. Not regard the school district facilities as my own private property, but as the property of the people.

III. In my relationship with the superintendent and employees I will:

  1. Function, in meeting the legal responsibility that is mine, as a part of a legislative, evaluative, policy-forming body not as an administrative officer;
  2. Recognize that it is my responsibility, together with that of my fellow board members, to see the school district is properly run and not run it myself;
  3. Expect the school district to be administered by the best-trained technical and professional people it is possible to procure within the financial resources of the school district;
  4. Recognize the superintendent as executive officer of the board;
  5. Work through the administrative employees of the board, not over or around them;
  6. Expect the superintendent to keep the board adequately informed through oral and written reports;
  7. Vote to employ personnel only after the recommendation of the superintendent has been received;
  8. Insist that contracts be equally binding on employees and the board;
  9. Give the superintendent power commensurate with the superintendent’s responsibility and will not in any way interfere with, or seek to undermine, the superintendent’s authority;
  10. Give the superintendent friendly counsel and advice;
  11. Present any personal criticism of employees to the superintendent; and
  12. Refer complaints to the proper administrative officer.

IV. To cooperative with other school boards I will:

  1.  Not employ any personnel who are already under contract with another school district without first securing assurance from the proper authority that the person can be released from contract;
  2. Not recommend any personnel for a position in another school district unless I would employ the person under similar circumstances;
  3. Consider it unethical to pursue any procedure calculated to embarrass a neighboring board or its representatives; and
  4. Associate myself with board members of other school districts for the purpose of discussing district issues and cooperating in the improvement of the education program.

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19; 10/22
Revised: 12/95
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 21; 68B; 69; 277.28; 279.7A; 279.8; 301.28
IASB Reference: 204 Option II