Policy #1.1-Code of Ethics for School Committee Members

SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBER ETHICS                                            1.1




The following Code of Ethics has been voted by the School Committee members who carry a- high degree of responsibility toward their community, their superintendent, school administration. and their fellow committee members.


The acceptance of a code of ethics implies the understanding of the basic organization of school committees under the Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The oath of office of a school committee member binds the individual member to adherence to those state laws which apply to school committee, since school committees are agencies of the state.


This code of ethics delineates three areas of responsibility of school committee members in addition to that implied above: (1) community responsibility; (2) responsibility to school administration; and (3) relationships to fellow committee members.


A School Committee member in his relations with his community should:


  • Realize that his primary responsibility is to the children.
  • Recognize that his basic function is to be policy making and not administrative.
  • Remember that he is one of a team and must abide by, and carry out, all Committee decisions once they are made.
  • Be well informed concerning the duties of a committee member on both a local and state level.
  • Remember that he represents the entire community at all times.
  • Accept the office as a committee member as means of unselfish service with no intent to "play politics," in any sense of the word, or to benefit personally from his committee activities.


A School Committee member in his relations with his school administration should:


  • Try to procure, when the occasion arises, the best professional leader possible for the position of superintendent wherever he or she may come from.
  • Endeavor to establish sound, clearly defined policies which will direct and support the administration.
  • Recognize and support the administrative chain of command and refuse to act on the complaints as an individual outside the administration.
  • Give the chief administrator full responsibility for discharging his/her professional duties and hold him/her responsible for acceptable results.
  • Refer all complaints to the administrative staff for solution and only discuss them at committee meetings if such solutions fail.


A School Committee member in his relations with his fellow committee members should:


  • Recognize that action at official meetings is binding and that he alone cannot bind the committee outside of such meetings.
  • Realize that he should not make statements or promises of how he will vote on matters that will come before the committee.
  • Uphold the intent of executive sessions and respect the privileged communication that exists in executive sessions.
  • Refuse  to take part in irregular secret meetings at which only part of the membership is present.
  • Not withhold pertinent information on school matters of personnel problems, either from members of his own committee or from members of other committees who may be seeking help or information on school problems.
  • Make decisions only after all facts on a question have been presented and discussed.


As elected officers of the Town of Millis charged with the important responsibility of public education, the School Committee individually and collectively expresses itself as being unwilling to react to pressures deleterious to the advancement of public education when such pressures shall be brought upon the School Committee's decision making function.


(This Code of Ethics includes the Code of Ethics of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees adopted May 22, 1964)


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