Southampton County School Board readopts VSBA Code of Conduct

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Southampton County School Board voted 7-0 during its July 11 meeting to adhere to the Virginia School Boards Association Code of Conduct for School Board Members.

Deborah Goodwyn

School Board Member James Pope III had resigned as of June 30, so his seat was still vacant at the time of the July 11 meeting, and Board Member Florence Reynolds was not present for the meeting.

Board Chair Dr. Deborah Goodwyn introduced the subject of the code of conduct by stating that there are 12 items comprising the code that the Southampton County board adheres to.

“We sign this VSBA Code of Conduct each year,” she said, moments before reading the 12 items.

The code, which was provided in the board meeting agenda packet, reads as follows:

“As a member of my local school board, I will strive to be an advocate for students and to improve public education, and to that end:

“1. I will have integrity in all matters and support the full development of all children and the welfare of the community, commonwealth and nation.

“2. I will attend scheduled board meetings.

“3. I will come to board meetings informed concerning the issues under consideration.

“4. I will make policy decisions based on the available facts and appropriate public input.

“5. I will delegate authority for the administration of the schools to the superintendent and establish a process for accountability of administrators.

“6. I will encourage individual board member expression of opinion and establish an open, two-way communication process with all segments of the community.

“7. I will communicate, in accordance with board policies, public reaction and opinion regarding board policies and school programs to the full board and superintendent.

“8. I will bring about desired changes through legal and ethical procedures, upholding and enforcing all laws, state regulations and court orders pertaining to schools.

“9. I will refrain from using the board position for personal or partisan gain and avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety.

“10. I will respect the confidentiality of privileged information and make no individual decisions or commitments that might compromise the board or administration.

“11. I will be informed about current educational issues through individual study and participation in appropriate programs, such as those sponsored by my state and national school boards associations.

“12. I will always remember that the foremost concern of the board is to improve and enhance the teaching and learning experience for all students in the public schools of Virginia.

“Therefore, I will always strive to demonstrate appropriate behavior/conduct as a public school board member.”

To her fellow board members, Goodwyn said, “I ask that before you leave tonight you sign the code of conduct so we’ll have a record of that.”