BBF: School Board Member Ethics

Classification: 
B: Board Governance and Operations
Code: 
BBF

The Board of School Trustees (the “Board”) expects its members to adhere to the highest ethical standards in their dealings with the Board, members of the school community, and citizens of the district, and to carry out their duties in a fair and impartial manner.

The Board also expects its members to maintain the confidentiality of privileged information.  Under the by-laws of this Board:

". . . Any documentary or oral information given or obtained, whether directly or indirectly, to a trustee, and characterized by either the Chairperson of the Board, a Standing Committee, or the Superintendent as being confidential, shall not be disclosed by any trustee unless the Board authorizes the disclosure of such information."


The Trustee Code of Ethics for the Vancouver School Board


            As a member of the Board, representing all Vancouver citizens and responsible to the electorate through the democratic process, I recognize that:


           the citizens have entrusted me to assist in the educational development of children and youth of the community;


           trustees are advocates for students and that my primary and greatest concern is to determine and to act on what is in the best interest of each student;


           trustees realize the future welfare of the community and of the country depends in large measure upon the quality of education we provide in the public schools; and 


           legally, the authority of the Board is derived from the School Act that finally controls the organization and operation of the school district and that determines the degree of discretionary power left with the Board and the people of this community for the exercise of local autonomy.

 

In view of the foregoing considerations, it shall be my constant endeavour: 

           to devote time, thought, and study to the duties and responsibility of a Board member so that I may render effective and knowledgeable service;

           to work with colleague Board members in a spirit of harmony and co-operation, despite any differences among us; 

           to work with all Board members to observe proper decorum and behaviour, to treat colleague Board members with respect and consideration, and to encourage full and open discussions in all matters with my colleagues and not withhold or conceal from them any information needed to make responsible decisions;


           to be cognizant of legislation concerning conflict of interest and to refrain from discussing and voting on issues raising such conflict;


           to remember that, as an individual, I have no legal authority to represent the Board, except when the Board authorizes such representations, and to conduct my relationships accordingly with the school staff, students, parents, and the public;


           to ensure that all official correspondence from myself as a trustee on Board letterhead will comply with the Trustee Code of Ethics;


           to resist the temptation and pressure to use my position as a Board member to benefit materially either myself or any other individual or group;


           to bear in mind that the primary function of the Board is to establish policies by which the schools are to be administered and their educational goals to be set and that, generally, administration of the programs and conduct of school business shall be left to the Superintendent of Schools and to school and district staff;

           to welcome and to encourage active participation by citizens, organizations, students, staff, and parents in the district in establishing and interpreting policy on school operations and educational goals and directions; and


           to work co-operatively to further public education as an essential avenue for the preservation and improvement of representative democracy. 


Trustees shall conduct themselves in an ethical and prudent manner in compliance with the Trustee Code of Ethics (the “Code”). The failure by trustees to conduct themselves in compliance with the Code or this policy may result in the Board instituting sanctions.

Cross References: 
BBAA: Board Member Authority; BBFA: Board Member Conflicts of Interest; BDC: Private (Closed) Sessions
Adopted Date: 
Monday October 18, 1982
Revision Date: 
Dec 1992
Oct 1994
Dec 1996
Jan 1999
Jun 2017