Code of conduct will have 'teeth' 0
Developing a code of conduct for trustees will expand on the Simcoe County District School Board's code of ethics, local trustees say.
School boards are required to have a code of conduct for trustees in place under the Ministry of Education's Bill 177.
The Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) has developed a code of conduct template for all boards to follow.
The categories are: integrity and dignity of office, avoidance of personal advantage and conflict of interest, compliance with legislation, civil behaviour, respect for confidentiality and upholding positions.
"Those are simplified in our code of ethics, but I think it's important we elaborate on those things," Oro- Medonte and Springwater townships trustee Peter Beacock said on Tuesday.
The code of conduct will have "teeth," he said.
"It needs to be enforceable," Beacock said. "There will be guidelines we'll be able to go to if there's issues where some trustees aren't following the rules."
Jodi Lloyd, trustee for Severn and Tay townships, said the local board waited for the OPSBA to write its template.
"It's been delayed and a slow process," she said.
For the most part, trustees have been "respectful" at the board table, Lloyd said.
"The trustees, I would say, (operate) in a very respectful manner and follow due process," she said.
A "hidden fear" is the code of conduct will be used to restrain open discussion, Lloyd said.
"We need to hear all points of view and all opinions on a matter before a decision is made," she said.
At the April 25 board meeting, staff were recommending three trustees work on the code.
Orillia trustee Debra Edwards put forward a motion to develop a committee of the whole and have all trustees work on the code. It was approved.
"It's about all of us working collaboratively in a framework code of conduct," she said.