School Board Eyes Additional Conduct Regulations for Members

Two weeks after issuing a formal, public reprimandof one member, the Loudoun School Board on Tuesday is scheduled to consider a new set of policies designed to govern how members interact with the public, staff and press.

The staff-proposed Policy 1035, titled School Board Norms, Protocols and Violations, was unanimously endorsed by the board’s Legislative Policy Committee on Nov. 17. The restrictions on board members’ actions would be in addition to the organizational bylaws and a formal Code of Conduct policy that has set those boundaries since 1973 and was last updated in 2016.

The proposal includes prohibitions on actions that could be “reasonably interpreted” as undermining decisions of the full board and requires members not impede day-to-day school operations that fall under the responsibly of the superintendent. It would require members to be trained on the Freedom of Information Act and the Conflict of Interest Act, adhere to student privacy laws, and to report cases of child abuse and sexual harassment.

The proposal also designates the chairman as the official spokesperson of the board for all School Board policies and School Board actions. School Board members who receive calls from the media regarding school operations—topics that include personnel, student matters, school programs, finance, campus conditions and emergency events—must redirect the calls to the chairman and also notify the superintendent and the division’s legal counsel that he or she had been contacted by a reporter.

Under the proposal, individual School Board members would only be authorized to discuss with members of the media their votes on motions, campaign positions and “current events.”

School Board members also will be required to make arraignments in advance to visit any school or classroom.

Violations of the policy would be enforced by a verbal warning in a closed meeting of the board, a written warning issued in a closed meeting, a public censure during a board meeting, or removal from committees.

The board is scheduled to discuss the policy at its meeting Tuesday night, with plans for a vote at the Dec. 15 meeting.

2 thoughts on “School Board Eyes Additional Conduct Regulations for Members

  • 2020-11-28 at 9:55 am

    The elected school board now works for the super and the staff? That is the exact opposite of how the system should work.

  • 2020-11-28 at 10:32 am

    Please read (or re-read whichever the case) state statute 22.1-79. School board members may have no right to be on a committee or avoid being talked to meanly by the Chairperson or other board members but they have responsibilities the Chairperson, nor the Superintendent nor the general counsel can take away. This type of gag order seems to be contrary to a healthy environment focused on doing what is best for the children under their care and the staff employed and managed by the Superintendent and all of it paid for by taxpayers supposedly represented by the BOS who have been strangely silent thus far on the LPCS DEBACLE! Frankly (in my opinion as an 8 year former school board member) this group is fast becoming an embarrassment to what has been one of the very best school systems in the USA . 🙂

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