Find it fast Open

BCA - School Committee Member Ethics

Policy BCA

Adopted: October 18, 2018
Amended: September 7, 2023

Source: MASC

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 adhere to those state laws which apply to School Committees, 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

  3. Relationships to fellow Committee members

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

  1. Realize that their primary responsibility is to the children.

  2. Recognize that their basic function is to be policy making, and not administrative.

  3. Remember that they are one of a team and must abide by, and carry out, all Committee decisions once they are made.

  4. Be well informed concerning the duties of a Committee member on both a local and state level.

  5. Remember that they represent the entire community at all times.

  6. Accept the office as a Committee member as a means of service with no intent to pursue a personal agenda or to benefit personally from their Committee activities.

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

  1. Endeavor to establish sound, clearly defined policies which will direct and support the administration.

  2. Recognize and support the administrative chain of command and refuse to act on complaints as an individual outside the administration.

  3. Give the chief administrator full responsibility for discharging their professional duties and hold them responsible for acceptable results.

  4. Refer all complaints to the administrative staff for solutions and only discuss them at Committee meetings if such solutions fail.

A School Committee in their relations with their fellow Committee members should:

  1. Recognize that actions at official meetings are binding, and that individual Committee members alone cannot bind the Committee outside of such meetings.

  2. Realize that they should not make statements or promises of how they will vote on matters that will come before the Committee.

  3. Uphold the intent of executive sessions and respect the privileged communications that exist in executive sessions.

  4. Not withhold pertinent information on school or personnel matters from members of their own Committee that would directly impact the ability of the Committee to execute and uphold its responsibilities in service to the students of the district.  Members of other Committees seeking help or information on school problems will be directed to the School Committee Chair.

  5. Cast votes based on all available facts and information, presented and discussed, in order to render the best possible decision in a timely manner.

School Committee Policies