No. 02 Section B School Board Operation
- BA - Board Goals and Objectives
- BAA - Board Self- Evaluation
- BBAA - Method of Election of Officers
- BBAB - Duties of Officers
- BBBA - Duties of Board Members
- BBBB - New Member Orientation
- BBBC - Board Member Development Opportunities
- BBC - Board Committees
- BBD - Board-Community Relations
- BBDA - Visitors to the Schools
- BBDB - Advertising and Distribution of Materials in Schools
- BBDC - Tobacco-Free Schools
- BBDD - Section 504 and ADA Grievance Procedures
- BBDE - Grievance Procedures for Resolution of Student and Employee Sexual Discrimination Complaints
- BBE - School Attorney
- BBF - Advisory Committees
- BFA - Student Advisory Committee
- BC - School Board Meetings
- BCAE - Public Hearings
- BCBB - Notification of Meetings
- BCBD - Agendas
- BCBF - Rules of Order
- BCBG - Voting Method
- BCBH - Minutes
- BCBI - Appeals to and Appearances before the Board
- BCBJ - Board Meeting News Coverage
- BCBJA - News Releases, News Conferences and Interviews
- BD - Policy Development and Adoption
- BE - School Board Records
- BG - Memberships
- BH - Code of Ethics
- BHA - Board Member Conflict of Interest
- BHB - Nepotism
- BHC - Employment of Board Members
- BI - School Board Legislative Involvement
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board’s primary objective is to establish purposes, programs and procedures, which will produce the educational achievement needed by students of the school system. The Board shall fulfill these responsibilities by functioning primarily as a legislative body to formulate and adopt policy and by evaluating the results.
In accordance with these principles, the Board shall seek to achieve the following goals:
- To provide leadership so that the goals and objectives of the school system can be effectively carried out;
- To conduct Board business openly, soliciting and encouraging broad-based involvement in the schools’ decision-making processes by the public, students and staff;
- To concentrate the Board’s collective efforts on its policy-making and planning responsibilities;
- To formulate Board policies which best serve the educational interests of each student and which conform to state and federal laws;
- To provide the superintendent with sufficient and adequate guidelines for implementing board policies; and
- To maintain effective communication with the public, staff and students in order to be aware of attitudes, opinions, desires and ideas.
Issued Date: 7/26/18
Rescind Date: 11/1/95
For the purpose of improvement of school board leadership, the Board of Education will conduct an annual evaluation of its operational procedures.
This annual evaluation shall be developed based upon the following premises:
A. Board members shall know and be involved in the development of a five-year strategic plan for the district.
B. The board shall meet as a whole to discuss the district’s five-year strategic plan at least annually.
C. The Board shall utilize the district’s five-year strategic plan and the district’s progress toward meeting the goals and expectations of the plan as a basis to evaluate operational procedures.
D. Evaluation shall include discussion of strengths as well as weaknesses.
E. Each judgment shall be supported by as much rational and objectives evidence as possible.
F. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the Board will report its conclusions regarding specific areas of progress that have been made or need to be made toward meeting the goals of the strategic plan as well as any other specific feedback which the evaluation reveals should be given in order to promote the goals of the plan.
Issued Date: 7/24/14
The Board shall organize by electing a chairman1 and a vice-chairman to serve annually until a successor is named or they are no longer members of the Board. Each board officer shall be eligible for re-election.
If no officer of the Board is serving at the time of the organizational meeting, any member shall call the meeting to order and preside until a chairman is elected as the first order of business.
If the office of chairman is vacated prior to the expiration of the annual term, the vice-chairman shall assume all responsibilities of the chairman until a new chairman is elected.
- TCA 49-2-202 (c) (2).
ISSUED DATE: 11/1/95
The chairman of the Board shall have the following duties:
- To assist the Director in preparing meeting agendas;
- To preside at all meetings of the Board;1
- To appoint committees authorized by the Board; 1
- To function as chairman of the executive committee; 1
- To countersign all checks authorized by the Board and issued by the Director for all expenditures of the school system; 1
- To conduct Board hearings; 2
- To prepare the school budget with the Director; 3
- To authorize the use of mechanical check writing equipment4
- To certify the value of surplus property valued less than $250; 5 and
- To carry out other such duties as may be assigned by the Board.
The vice-chairman shall assume the duties of the chairman in his/her absence or function as the chairman until a new chairman can be elected in the event the chairman is incapacitated or the office becomes vacant.
The Director, as the executive officer of the Board shall serve as secretary to the Board. He/she shall conduct all correspondence of the Board, keep and preserve all of its records; receive all reports acquired by the Board, and see that such reports are in proper form. He/she has the right to advise on any questions under consideration but has no vote.
The Board may assign the keeping of the minutes to a clerk; however, the responsibility resides with the Director.
CHAIRMAN PRO TEM
A chairman pro tem shall be elected to preside during a meeting when neither the chairman nor the vice-chairman is present.
1. TCA 49-2-205.
2. TCA 49-5-512 (5) (6).
3. TCA 49-2-203 (a) (11).
4. TCA 49-2-113.
5. TCA 49-6-2007.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The duties of an individual board member shall be as follows:
- To become familiar with State school laws, regulations of the State Department of Education, and school board policies, rules and regulations;
- To have a general knowledge of the educational aims and objectives of the system;
- To work harmoniously with other board members without trying either to dominate the Board or neglect his/her share of the work;
- To vote and act impartially for the good of the school system;
- To accept the will of the majority vote in all cases and give support to the resulting action;
- To represent the Board and the school system to the public in such a way as to promote both interest and support; and
- To refer complaints to the Director and to abstain from individual counsel and action in regard to staff members.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board considers board member development to be an ongoing process for all board members and a vital responsibility for effective board membership.
It shall be the responsibility of the Director to provide to each new board member:
- A copy of the Board’s Policy Manual;
- Applicable portions of the Tennessee Code Annotated outlining the duties and responsibilities of the Board and the Director;1
- Minutes of the Board meeting for the previous year; and
- Other appropriate materials that will acquaint the new member with the operation of the school system and board service.
An orientation for new board members shall be conducted no later than thirty (30) days after new board members take office. The chairman of the Board and the Director shall arrange and plan for such an orientation.
1. TCA 49-2-2001.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board shall participate in activities designed to assist board members in improving their skills as members of a policy-making body.
In order to control both the investment of time and funds necessary to implement this policy, the Board establishes these principles and procedures for its guidance.
- A calendar of school board conferences, conventions and workshops shall be maintained by the board secretary and provided to each school board member. At least annually the Board will identify which meetings should be attended and the benefits which would be derived from participation in such meetings;
- Funds for participation at such meetings shall be budgeted on an annual basis. The Board as a whole shall retain the authority to approve or disapprove the participation of members in planned activities;
- Reimbursement to board members for their travel expenses shall be in accord with the travel expense policy for staff members;1
- When a conference, convention or workshop is not attended by the full Board, those participating will be requested to share information, recommendations and materials acquired at the meeting; and
- The public shall be kept informed through the news media about the Board’s continuing in-service education and about the programs anticipated for short- and long- range benefits to the schools.
The Board regards the following as the kinds of activities and services appropriate for implementing this policy:
- Participation in school board conferences, workshops and conventions held by the State and National School Boards Associations;1
- Local and district-sponsored training sessions for board members; and
- Subscriptions to publications addressing the concerns of board members.
1. TCA 49-2-201.
Issued Date: 11/15/12
The Board shall operate with the Executive Committee and/or the following standing committees;
- Executive Committee
- Athletics Committee
- Facilities and Resources Management Committee
- Curriculum and Achievement Committee
- Human Resources Committee
- Strategic Planning Committee
- Health, Wellness and Safety Committee
- Finance Committee
however, special committees composed of board members may be appointed by the chairman at the direction of the Board and as the needs of the Board shall require.1 Such committees shall be discharged when the work is finished or earlier by a majority vote of the entire Board. All reports by special committees shall be made directly to the Board.
- A special committee serving in an advisory capacity shall ordinarily consist of less than a quorum of board members;
- The committee will be advisory only;
- A committee shall serve no longer than the annual organizations meeting of the Board unless reappointed to finish a designated task; and
- Committee meetings shall be held in accordance with the Open Meetings law.2
- TCA 49-2-205 (2).
- TCA 8-77-102(b).
Issued Date: 9/12/96
In order to promote school-community interaction relating to the policy and operation of the schools, the Board will:
1. Strive to keep citizens of the school system regularly informed about all policies, problems and planning through channels of communication, its own efforts, and the office of the Director.
2. Direct all school employees, including teachers, administrators and support service personnel to participate in good school-community interaction by:
A. Transmitting pertinent and correct information to citizens upon request or upon initiative of school employees;
B. Seeking ways to improve school-community relations; and
3. Recognize the right of news media to inquire, research and report to the public information about local schools.
The principal of each school shall be responsible for the development of a public relations program and shall promote programs that involve parents and the community with the school.
The Director shall be responsible for leadership in school-community relations. Through the use of his staff, he/she will promote a program to best coordinate the involvement of the schools and community.
At the end of each school year, a committee composed of the principal; two (2) teachers, the P.T.O. president, and at least one other parent will assess the success of that school year and the level of parent/community involvement. This report will be made to the Director of schools.
The P.T.O. shall be recognized as a service organization and not primarily as a fund-raising group.
The report should include the items below:
- Dates of each meeting
- List any fundraisers held and funds raised at each event.
- Specify projects or activities of your P.T.O.
- List any purchases and/or donations to your school.
- Has your P.T.O. had any volunteers working in your school this year? If yes, how and where did they help out?
- How has the P.T.O. been beneficial to your school this year?
- How could the P.T.O. have been more effective?
- What suggestions does your committee have for next year?
- What can the Administration do to help your school and P.T.O. in the future?
- Other comments and/or suggestions:
Issued Date: 07/26/12
The board encourages the community and parents to be involved in and support the schools and the educational program. While visitors are welcome at appropriate times, the paramount concern of the board is to provide a safe, orderly and inviting learning environment in which disruptions to instructional time are minimized. The Director and each principal may establish and enforce reasonable rules to address this concern. In addition, the following requirements apply:
1. Except on occasions, such as school programs, athletic events, open house and similar public events; all visitors will report to the school office when entering the school and will sign a logbook. Authorization to visit elsewhere in the building or on the school campus will be determined by the principal or designee. Guest passes shall be issued for all persons other than students and employees.1
2. In order to maintain the conditions and atmosphere suitable for learning, no person shall enter onto school buses, school grounds or into school buildings during the hours of student instruction except students assigned to that school, the staff of the school, parents of students, and other persons with lawful and valid business on the bus or school premises.
3. All persons who come onto school property shall be under the jurisdiction of the principal or his/her designee. Any person improperly on the premises of a school shall depart on the request of the school principal or other authorized person.
4. All persons who come onto school property or who contact employees on school or district business are expected to behave accordingly. Specifically, actions that are prohibited include, but are not limited to:
1. Cursing and/or use of obscenities;
2. Disrupting or threatening to disrupt school or office operations;
3. Acting in an unsafe manner that could threaten the health or safety of others;
4.Verbal or written statements or gestures indicating intent to harm an individual or property; and/or
5. Physical attacks intended to harm an individual or substantially damage property.
The principal or his/her designee has the authority to exclude from the school premises any persons disrupting the educational programs in the classroom or in the school, disturbing the teachers or students on the premises, or on the premises for the purpose of committing an illegal act.2 Such individual may be prohibited from attending any other events sponsored by the school district for the remainder of the year.
The principal shall engage law enforcement officials when he/she believes the situation warrants such measures. Failure to comply with requests to leave school grounds or other restrictions imposed by school officials may result in the filing of trespass charges against the offending individual. Any violence or threat of violence toward any employee or student on school grounds may result in the filing of a restraining order or injunction against the offending individual.3
- Students and Employee Safe Environment Act of 1996
- TCA 49-6-2008; TCA 39-14-406
- TCA 20-14-105
Issued Date: 8/26/99
No part of the school system, including the facilities, the name, the staff, and the students shall be used for advertising or promoting the interests of any commercial, political or other non-school agency or organization except that:
1. The schools may cooperate in furthering the work of any non-profit, community-wide social service agency, provided that such cooperation does not restrict or impair the educational programs of the schools;
2. The school may participate in radio or television programs under acceptable commercial sponsorship when such programs are educationally beneficial;
3. Community, educational, charitable, and recreational and other similar civic groups may advertise events pertinent to students’ interest or involvement. Such advertisements, including the distribution of materials, shall be subject to any procedures related to time, place and manner established by the principal.
4. The principal shall screen all materials prior to distribution to ensure their appropriateness. The principal may prohibit materials that:
A. would be likely to cause substantial disruption of the operation of the school;
B. violate the rights of others;
C. are obscene, lewd or sexually explicit; or
D. students would reasonable believe to be sponsored or endorsed by the school.
5. The school may, upon approval of the Director of Schools, cooperate with any governmental agency in promoting activities, which advance the education or other best interests of the students.
6. Political literature shall not be distributed through the school to students, nor sent home to parents, nor placed in teachers’ mailboxes, lounges, or on school premises.
7. Political signs for people who are running for public office shall not be allowed on school property except those being held by poll workers on election day; and
8. School publications may accept and publish paid advertising under procedures established by the Director of Schools.
Issued Date: 8/26/99
All uses of tobacco and tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, are prohibited in all of the school district’s buildings.
The use of tobacco or tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, will be prohibited in all vehicles, owned, leased or operated by the district.
District employees and students enrolled in the district’s school will not be permitted to use tobacco or tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, while they are participants in any class or activity in which they represent the school district.
Signs will be posed throughout the district’s facilities to notify students, employees and all other persons visiting the school that the use of tobacco and tobacco products is forbidden.1
Smoking is not permitted, and no person shall smoke on school grounds; provided, that after regular school hours, adults are allowed to smoke on the property surrounding the institution, but not blocking any entrance to any building. Such property shall not include any public seating areas, including, but not limited to, bleachers used for sporting events, or public restrooms.2
- Section 1042 of the Environmental Tobacco Smoke/Pro-Children Act of 1994
- TCA 39-17-1604 (10).
Issued Date: 10/24/13
The Board is committed to maintaining equitable employment/educational practices, services, programs and activities that are accessible and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that : No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States...solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.1
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 provides that : No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall be discriminated against in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.2
The Board shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504, including any investigation of any complaint alleging non-compliance with the Acts or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by the Acts.
The Board shall make available the name, office address and telephone number of the ADA/Section 504 coordinator. Methods of initial and continuing notification may include the posting of notices, publication in news-papers and student and employee handbooks and distribution of memoranda or other written communications.
The coordinator will hear ADA/Section 504 complaints. Complaints should be submitted in writing to the coordinator who will endeavor to accomplish prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by the ADA/Section 504. The coordinator will respond to all written and oral complaints within twenty (20) days with a written response as well as information on further grievance procedures that may be followed if the complaining party is not satisfied with the coordinator's proposed resolution.
DUE PROCESS HEARING PROCEDURES
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides the right to an impartial due process hearing if a parent wishes to contest any action of the school system with regard to a child’s identification, evaluation, and placement under Section 504.6 If a parent/guardian requests a Section 504 hearing, the parent/guardian has the right to personally participate and to be represented at the hearing by an attorney or advocate at the parent’s expense. Contested actions or omissions that are appropriate for a Section 504 hearing should involve identification, evaluation, or placement issues involving a child who has or is believed to have a disability.
Written Request for Hearing
A parent/guardian who wishes to challenge an action or omission with regard to the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student who has or is believed to have a disability as defined by Section 504, shall make a written request for a due process hearing to the Section 504 coordinator. The written request must be made on a form provided through the Central Office.
Impartial Hearing Officer
The director of schools or his/her designee shall appoint an impartial hearing officer to preside over the hearing and issue a decision. Such appointment will be made within fifteen (15) days of the date of receipt of a request for a due process hearing. The hearing officer will be hired as an independent contractor at no expense to the parent. The hearing officer that is appointed shall not be a current employee of the school system and shall not be related to any member of the Board of Education. The hearing officer need not be an attorney but shall be familiar with the requirements of Section 504 and the hearing procedures under Section 504. The choice of an impartial hearing officer is final and may not be presented as an issue at the due process hearing since such an issue would not relate to the identification, evaluation, or placement of a disabled child under Section 504. If a parent/guardian disputes the impartiality of the appointed hearing officer, he/she may raise such issue in a review of the hearing officer’s opinion by a court of competent jurisdiction or in a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights.
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T10
Atlanta, GA 30303-8927
Telephone: 404-974-9406; TDD: 877-521-2172
Scheduling of Hearing
The appointed hearing officer shall set a date for the hearing within fifteen (15) days of his/her appointment and provide this information in writing to the parent/guardian and the Section 504 coordinator. The hearing shall take place at a mutually agreeable time and place.
Upon a showing of good cause, the hearing officer, at his/her discretion may grant a continuance of the hearing date and set a new hearing date.
Legal Representation at Hearing
If a parent/guardian is represented by a licensed attorney at the due process hearing, he/she must inform the Section 504 coordinator and the appointed hearing officer of that fact, in writing, at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the hearing date, or the hearing can be continued upon the coordinators request. The school system shall not have legal representation at the hearing unless the parent provides notice that he/she will have legal representation.
The hearing officer may order a Pre-Hearing Conference during which the parent/guardian or his/her representative will state and clarify the issues to be addressed at the hearing. The Pre-Hearing Conference will also serve to resolve preliminary matters, clarify jurisdictional issues, and answer the parties’ questions regarding the hearing process. The Pre-Hearing Conference can be held via telephone or in person depending on the hearing officer’s decision based on the convenience to both parties.
If, after the Pre-Hearing Conference, the hearing officer finds that the parent, as a matter of law, alleges and/or raises no factual claims or legal issues that come within his/her jurisdiction as a Section 504 hearing officer, he/she may dismiss the hearing and issue an order to that effect explaining the basis for such finding.
The hearing shall be conducted in an informal, non-adversarial manner. The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parent/guardian requests an open hearing. The hearing officer may reasonably limit testimony and introduction of exhibits for reasons or relevance.
Instead of a formal written transcript produced by a court reporter, the entire due process hearing will be video recorded. The school system shall provide a copy of the recording to the parent/guardian upon request. In order for an accurate recording to be made, the parties and witnesses shall introduce themselves at the beginning of their presentations. If a parent/guardian appeals the decision of the hearing officer to a court of competent jurisdiction, the school system shall prepare a written transcript of the hearing to be offered to the court as an exhibit.
Witnesses will present their information in narrative form, without the traditional question and answer format of legal proceedings. Cross-examination of witnesses will not be allowed, but a party may request that the hearing officer, at his/her discretion, ask a witness a certain question.
Format of Presentation
Each side will have an equal amount of time to present their positions as determined by the hearing officer. The parent/guardian will present his/her case first by making an opening statement outlining the issues, calling witnesses, and making a closing argument. The school system will present its side next. At the end of the school system’s presentation, the parent/guardian may offer a short response. Each side may present personally or through their representatives.
Submission of Exhibits
As part of their presentations and at the discretion of the hearing officer, the parties may submit any reports, evaluations, correspondence, notes, or any other documents that may support their positions. Exhibits submitted to the hearing officer by either party must be marked. The hearing officer may, in the exercise of his/her discretion, reasonably limit the number of documents to be submitted for his/her review, as well as the number of witnesses and the length and/or scope of their presentations or statements.
The hearing officer may allow or request written closing arguments summarizing and characterizing the information presented at the hearing.
The hearing officer may make an oral ruling at the conclusion of the hearing or take the case under advisement and issue a written opinion. Such decision shall address all of the issues raised by the parent/guardian as well as any corrective actions, if any, the school system must take. Any issue or claim raised by the parent/guardian that is left unaddressed by the hearing officer in his/her decision will be deemed to have been denied. The decision must be issued within forty-five (45) days after the date the Request for a Due Process Hearing is received by the district. The hearing officer may 30 not award attorneys’ fees as a part of the relief granted to a parent/guardian or the district.
If the parent/guardian is not satisfied by the decision of the hearing officer, he/she may seek review of the decision in a court of competent jurisdiction.
1. 34 CFR § 104.4(a)
2. 42 USCA §12112(a)
3. 28 CFR § 35.107
4. 28 CFR § 35.106; 34 CFR § 104.8
5. 28 CFR § 35.170;172
6. 34 CFR §104.36
Issued Date: 05/24/18
Warren County Board of Education takes its obligations to its students and employees seriously. To this end, WCBOE shall provide grievance procedures for prompt and equitable resolution of sexual harassment/discrimination/violence complaints and s its assurance that, where harassment is found to have been committed, the school will take steps to prevent recurrence of the harassment and to correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate.
Notice of Grievance Procedures /Filing a Complaint- Any student of this school district who wishes to file a discrimination/ harassment grievance against another student or an employee of the district may file a written or oral (recorded, if possible) compliant with the building level compliance manager at each individual school or the District Title IX Coordinator who may be contacted at Warren County Schools’ Central Office at 2548 Morrison Rd, McMinnville, Tennessee 37110 or by calling (931) 668-4022 Attn: Equity and Legal Compliance. Contact information for building level complaint managers shall be available on the school’s website and also by calling the main office number for the school.
Students may also report an allegation of discrimination/ harassment to any teacher or other adult employed in the school who shall inform a complaint manager of the allegation. The complaint should include the following information:
Identity of the alleged victim and person accused;
Location, date time and circumstances surrounding the alleged incident;
Description of what happened;
Identity of Witnesses
Any other evidence available.
Adequate, Reliable and Impartial Investigation of Complaints-
The district shall provide for procedures to ensure prompt, adequate, reliable impartial investigation of complaints within designated and reasonably prompt time frames.
Within one school day of receiving the student’s complaint, the complaint manager shall notify the complaining student’s parent/guardian and the principal who shall inform the director of schools and the Title IX coordinator. The parent/guardian shall be given notice of the right to attend an interview of the student in a non-intimidating environment in order to elicit full disclosure of the student’s allegations. This interview shall take place as soon as possible after the complaint was first made. If no parent/guardian attends the interview, another adult, mutually agreed upon by the student and complaint manager, shall attend and may serve as the student’s advocate. All appropriate reports shall be made promptly to outside agencies as required by law.
Complainant shall be notified that a request for confidentiality may limit the school’s/ district’s ability to fully respond where due process rights of the accused are implicated. However, the complaint and identity of the complaint will not be disclosed except (1) as required by law or this policy; (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint, or (3) as authorized by the complainant.
If the allegations are substantiated after investigation, immediate and appropriate corrective or disciplinary action shall be initiated.
Retaliation against anyone for filing a claim or participating in an investigation shall not be tolerated and may subject one who retaliates to further discipline.
Notice of Outcome
A school representative shall advise the complainant regarding the findings of the investigation, and whether corrective measures and/or disciplinary actions were taken. The investigation and response to the complaint shall be completed within thirty (30) to sixty (60) school days, unless fact finding is temporarily delayed while an outside agency investigates. However, once notified that the outside agency has completed its gathering of evidence, the school must promptly resume and complete its own fact finding for the Title IX investigation.
All investigations shall be conducted by an impartial investigator who has adequate experience or training. Both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator shall be allowed to present evidence and receive similar and periodic status updates and opportunity to respond to information to be considered in decision-making regarding the complaint. Both the complainant and the accused perpetrator shall receive a response regarding the outcome of the complaint. Schools should ensure that steps taken to accord due process rights to the alleged perpetrator do not restrict or unnecessarily delay the Title IX protections of the complainant.
Appeals Process – If either party is not in agreement with the findings or remedy of the complaint manager, either party has the right to appeal to the Director of Schools within five (5) days school days of their notification of the decision. The Director will review the investigation, make any corrective action deemed necessary and provide a written response to both parties. Schools must maintain documentation of all proceedings, which may include written findings of facts, transcripts audio recordings.
Notice and Implementation of Policy: This policy shall be widely distributed. It shall be prominently displayed on school and district websites and posted at visible locations at each school. Beginning in the 2019/20 school year, summarized information regarding this policy shall be published in the parent/student handbook district distributed annually to every student.
Building administrators are responsible for education and training their respective staff and students as to the definition and recognition of discrimination/ harassment and reporting of discrimination and harassment.
Title IX, Education Amendment of 1972, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681, et seq.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board shall employ an attorney to represent the Board in legal matters which arise concerning the school system.1
The Board’s attorney shall represent the Board in legal matters, but the Board may at its discretion employ additional counsel.
1. TCA 49-2-203 (b) (5).
Issued Date: 11/1/95
In order to ensure maximum benefits from advisory committees, the purpose, composition, responsibilities, and operation procedures shall be clearly defined for each committee.
Citizens Advisory Committee – Members shall be broadly representative of the community at-large and shall be chosen from persons who have shown an interest in the advancement of public education.
Staff Advisory Committee – The committees appointed shall be broadly representative of the entire staff or selected from particular areas of competence, as in the case of textbook committees.
Student Advisory Committee – Student concerns in policy areas may be conveyed to the Board through a Student Advisory Committee authorized by the Board.
In creating advisory committees, the Board shall:
- Appoint an administrator to serve as liaison between committee and Board;
- Define the committee assignments in writing in terms of topics for study or well-defined areas of activity; and
- Set a date for a preliminary and/or final report.
Recommendations of advisory committees shall not reduce the responsibility of the Board to accept or reject the recommendations as it deems best for the system as a whole.
The Director shall draft procedures for instructing committees as to the length of time each member is being asked to serve, the service the Board wishes it to render, the resources the Board intends to provide and the approximate date on which the Board wishes to dissolve the committee.
Issued Date: 02/27/14
The Warren County Board of Education will follow TCA 49-2-202. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Board of Education for each LEA which operates one (1) or more high schools may annually select, prior to commencement of the new school year, not less than four (4) high school students to serve as advisory, non-voting members of the board. One half (1/2) of the students so selected shall be enrolled in the college preparatory track and one half (1/2) of the students so selected shall be enrolled in the technology track. Dual path students can take the place of a college or technical path position. This is for students ninth through twelfth grade with two students from each class. Student must installed by the second semester of the school year. Such students shall serve without compensation but may, at the discretion of the board, be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred while engaged in board business.
Each year the Tennessee School Boards Association sponsors a Student Congress on Policies in Education, (SCOPE) to garner student input on education issues facing school boards and legislators. SCOPE brings together 9th through 12th grade students from across the state to discuss major topics in education. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about education issues through mock school board meeting, discussions and debates. To give SCOPE delegates a better understanding of how school boards develop policy, delegates are asked to attend their local school board meeting prior to coming to SCOPE.
Some responsibilities of the Warren County Student Advisory committee and Sponsor are as follows:
- Attend and report to the monthly meeting of the Warren County Board of Education.
- Once a month, meet with the sponsor and High School Principal about any questions, concerns, problems and updates concerning student body and the school system.
- Attend the annual SCOPE conference.
- Design a banner for the Warren County School System for the board to have for the TSBA Fall Conference, representing the system goals and achievements to be presented at the September Board Meeting.
- Develop and conduct a survey for the whole school system, grades 7th through 12th. Present the questionnaire survey to the board before conducting the survey. Results should be presented at the January board meeting.
- The Student Advisory committee needs to communicate any questions, concerns, problems, updates and suggestion to the Board of Education.
The sponsor and all members should wear name badges when representing the Student Advisory committee or the school system.
Issued Date: 02/28/13
The Board will transact all business at official meetings, which may be either regular or special.
Every meeting of the Board, except with the attorney to discuss pending or threatened litigation, will be open to the public.1 Open meetings will be physically accessible to all students, employees, and interested citizens.3
Regular meetings of the Board shall be held on the second and/or fourth Thursday.
In instances when any regular meeting date falls on a legal holiday, the chairman shall reschedule the meeting.
The Board shall hold such special meetings as necessary to transact the business of the Board. Such meetings shall be called by the chairman whenever, in his/her judgment, the interests of the schools require it, or when requested to do so by the majority of the Board.2
Only business related to the call of the meeting, and details related to agenda items shall be discussed or transacted by the Board at a special meeting.
Absent Board members may attend a regular or special meeting by electronic means if the member is absent because of work, a family emergency, or the member's military service. If a board member is absent due to military service, he/she may participate electronically as often as he/she is able to do so. However, a board member may not participate electronically more than two (2) times per year for absences due to work and/or family emergencies.
The following requirements apply to all electronic attendance, regardless of the reason for the member's absence:
1. A quorum of the Board must be physically present at the meeting in order for any member to attend electronically.
2. Any member wishing to participate electronically must do so using technology which allows the Chair to visually identify the member.
3. The responsibility for the connection lies with the member wishing to participate electronically. No more than three (3) attempts to connect shall be made, unless the Board chooses to make additional attempts.
Work Related Absence
The following requirements apply to electronic attendance due to a work related absence:
1. The Board member must be absent from the county due to work.
2. The member wishing to participate must give the Chair and director at least five (5) days’ notice prior to the meeting of the member's desire to participate electronically.
The following requirement applies to electronic attendance due to a family emergency:
1. The member must be absent due to the hospitalization of the member or the death or hospitalization of the member's spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-son, step-daughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.
1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-44-102
2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-2-202(c)(1)
3. 28 CFR § 36.201(a); 36.202
4. OP Tenn. Atty. Gen. 95-101 (Oct. 2, 1995)
5. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-2-203(c)
School Board Legal Status and Authority 1.100
Section 504 & ADA Grievance Procedures 1.802
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board may hold public hearings in the following circumstances:
- When an employee is dismissed during a contract period. Any employee of the Board, professional and non-professional, is entitled to a hearing, upon written request, and shall be advised of the same in the event of a dismissal;1
- When a student has been suspended and the resolution has not been satisfactory;2
- When a parent or legal guardian shall contest the school assignment of their child;3
- When the Board deems it to be in the public interest.
Any individual(s) requesting a hearing before the Board will make such requests in writing stating the purpose of the hearing, the action desired, and, in the case of contesting a school assignment, the specific reasons for requesting the transfer. All requests for hearings must be received by the Board or Director within the time limit prescribed by law for that category of hearing.
- TCA 49-2-203 (a) (7); TCA 49-5-512.
- TCA 49-6-3401.
- TCA 49-6-3201.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
Adequate notice of meetings1 in the case of regular meetings shall consist of the approval of a schedule of all regular meetings for the Board for a year and subsequent posting of this list in the Board/Director’s office and in each of the public schools. The schedule shall also be sent to the president of the local education association2 and to the local news media for periodic announcement. No other notice of regular meetings shall be necessary beyond those stated and the holding of the particular regular meetings at the appointed times, if the date and time of the next regular meeting was announced at the last held board meeting.
In the case of special board meetings, notice shall be posted in the same locations with notice sent to the local news media and the president of the local education association, as in the case of regular meetings, at least twenty-four hours (24) prior to the meeting.
The only exception permitted is in case of emergency, defined for this policy as a “sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances demanding immediate action.” In such exceptions, notice shall be given to all appropriate parties as is practical.
All notices of special board meetings shall state the time, place and purpose of the meeting.
- TCA 8-44-103.
- TCA 49-2-202 (c) (1).
The Executive Committee of the Board shall be responsible for developing an agenda for each board meeting. Any board member may place items on the agenda for discussion. The particular order may vary from meeting to meeting in keeping with the business at hand.
For a regular board meeting, the agenda (which shall include the consent agenda), together with supporting materials, shall be distributed to board members at least five (5) days prior to the scheduled date of the meeting. The agenda shall be available for public inspection and/or distribution when it is distributed to the board members. At the beginning of each meeting, the Board shall, by a majority vote, approve the agenda for the meeting, which may involve the addition to or deletion of items previously included on the agenda. The Board, however, shall not revise board policies or adopt new ones, unless such action has been scheduled.
Staff members or citizens of the district may suggest items for the agenda. For items to be considered on the agenda, they must be received in the Director’s office 48 hours prior to the scheduled date of the meeting. The person(s) requesting an item on the agenda shall forward any background information to the Director’s office so that the material will be included in the delivery to the board members prior to the meeting. Individuals who do not follow the above procedures will not be allowed to address the Board.
While developing the agenda, the chairman and Director may identify routine or non-controversial items to be placed on the consent agenda, which shall become a part of the regular agenda. If any member objects to including an item on the consent agenda, that item shall be moved to the regular agenda as an action item requiring discussion. The remaining consent items shall be adopted in a single vote without discussion.
The Executive Committee may assign to each item a certain amount of time determined to be sufficient for disposing of each item on the agenda.
At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Board may adopt an annual planning calendar, stating month-by-month actions required by law and those required to carry out the Board’s annual goals and objectives and the State Board of Education’s performance standards.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Board in all cases to which they are applicable, except as otherwise provided by any statutes1 applicable to the Board, or by policies of this Board including the following:
A majority of the membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum, any business transacted is null and void except to adjourn, to recess, or to take measures to obtain a quorum.
The person chairing a meeting may participate in discussion, make motions, and vote on all issues as any other member without relinquishing the chair.
SUSPENSION OF RULES
Rules of order may be suspended by a two-thirds vote at any regular or special meeting.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
Meetings shall be conducted under the following order of business unless changed by majority vote of the Board:
A. Call to order
B. Roll call
C. Establish quorum
D. Approval of minutes of previous meeting
E. Hearing of delegations
F. Report of Director of Schools and staff
G. Unfinished business
H. New business
1. TCA 49-5-409 (b) (1).
Issued Date: 07/30/98
A formal vote shall be taken on any questions brought before the Board and the decision shall be made on the basis of a majority of the Board voting “aye” or “nay” when a quorum exists, except when a rule or statute requires otherwise. Abstentions, passes, and such other responses shall not be counted in determining whether a motion passes or fails.1
Roll call or show of hands vote will be used when the motion includes any spending of funds or upon the request of any board member. No secret votes shall be used.2 The person chairing the meeting shall have a vote on all matters voted on by the Board3.
- Tennessee Supreme Court, Collins v. Janey, 147 Tennessee 477 (1922).
- TCA 8-44-104 (b).
- Tennessee Supreme Court, Reeder v. Trotter, 142 Tennessee 37 (1919).
Issued Date: 10/23/97
The Director of Schools shall keep, or cause to be kept, complete and accurate minutes of all meetings of the Board.1 The draft of the minutes of the previous meeting shall be sent to all board members, school principals and local education association president. Following their approval, the minutes shall be signed by the Chairman and Director of Schools.2 The minutes shall become permanent records of the Board and shall be made available to interested citizens and the news media upon request.3,4 If changes are made, a copy shall be sent to all board members, the president of the local education association, and to each of the schools no more than thirty (30) days after approval by the Board.5 The minutes shall include:
- The nature of the meeting (regular or special), time, place, date, board members present or absent, and the approval of the minutes of the preceding meeting;2,3
- A record of all motions, proposals, and resolutions passed or denied by the Board, together with the names of the members making and seconding the motions, and a record of the members voting “aye” and “nay” in the event of a roll call vote;2,3
- Reports, documents and objects relating to a formal motion may be omitted from the minutes, if they are referred to and identified by title and date;6
- A brief account of those items discussed, and whether or not any motions were made regarding those items.
- A brief account of those items discussed, and whether or not any motions were made regarding those items.
- TCA 49-2-301 (f) (3).
- Robert’s Rules of Order, Article VII, Paragraph 41.
- TCA 8-44-104
- TCA 10-7-503.
- TCA 49-2-203 (a) (12).
- Attorney General Opinion (June 11, 1979).
Issued Date: 11/1/95
APPEALS TO THE BOARD
Any matter relating to the operation of the school system may be appealed to the Board. However, the Board desires that all matters be settled at the lowest level of responsibility and will not hear complaints or concerns which have not advanced through the proper administrative procedure from the point of origin.
If all administrative channels have been pursued and there is still a desire to appeal to the Board, the matter shall be referred in writing and the Board shall determine whether to hear the appeal.
APPEARING BEFORE THE BOARD
Individuals desiring to appear before the Board may request placement on the agenda by contacting the office of the Director of Schools’ 48 hours before the meeting. They will be recognized at the beginning of the meeting and given time to speak when their topic of interest is addressed on the agenda. Sufficient background material will be provided by the speaker. The chairman may recognize individuals not on the agenda for remarks to the Board if he/she determines that such is in the public interest. A majority vote of members present can overrule the decision of the chairman.
Delegations must select only one individual to speak on their behalf unless otherwise determined by the Board.
Recognition of individuals who are not citizens of the school system is to be determined by a majority vote of the Board.
Individuals speaking to the Board shall address remarks to the chairman and may direct questions to individual board members or staff members only upon approval of the chairman. Each person speaking shall state his name, address, and subject of presentation. Remarks will be limited to five (5) minutes unless time is extended by a majority vote of the Board. The chairman shall have the authority to terminate the remarks of any individual who does not adhere to the above rules or chooses to be abusive to an individual board member of the Board as a whole. Members of the Board and the Director of Schools may have the privilege of asking questions of any person who addresses the Board.
Individuals desiring additional information about any item on the agenda shall direct such inquiries to the office of the Director of Schools.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
A copy of the agenda and agenda materials will be sent in advance to members of the news agenda who request it. Additionally, all reports approved by the Board shall be made available to the media.
The press will be provided with working copies of the agenda and agenda materials upon request.
The chairman of the Board and/or the Director of Schools will be available after each meeting to answer questions and to clarify points of discussion and action.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The release of official news from the system and schools shall be coordinated as follows:
- The board chairman will be the official spokesman for the Board, except as this duty is delegated to others;
- News releases which are of a system-wide nature or pertain to established system policy are the responsibility of the Director of Schools or a designated member of the administrative staff; and
- News releases which are of concern to only one school or to an organization of one school are the responsibility of the principal of that particular school.
When individual board members or the Director of Schools express their views on any issue which is in opposition to a view expressed in board policy, they have the duty to make clear that the view expressed is not the official view of the Board or school system.
Issued Date: 03/17/11
A proposed policy or policy change shall be submitted to the Board as part of the agenda. Any interested party shall be given an opportunity to be heard on the proposal. The Board’s approval of the proposal or return for study and/or further revision shall constitute the first reading.
The proposed policy or policy amendment shall be considered at the next board meeting with the final vote following the second reading. Adoption shall require an affirmative vote by a majority of the full membership of the Board and each vote will contain a future date for reporting the effectiveness of the policy.
Policies and amendments adopted by the Board shall be made a part of the minutes and shall be placed in the policy manual. Policies and amendments shall be effective immediately upon adoption unless a specific effective date is provided, and shall supersede any previous Board action on the subject.
The Director of Schools shall be responsible for drafting policy proposals, maintaining the Board Policy Manual and serving as liaison between the Board and the Tennessee School Boards Association. At least bi-annually, the Board shall review its policy manual for the purpose of passing, revising or deleting policies mandated by changing conditions.1 In order that the policy manual remains current, the Board may contract annually for TSBA’s policy maintenance service.
Policies shall be accessible to all employees of the school system, members of the Board, and citizens of the community.1 All policy manuals shall remain the property of the Board and are subject to recall any time deemed necessary by the Director of Schools.
On matters of unusual urgency, by a unanimous vote of the total membership, the Board may waive the second reading limitation and take immediate action to adopt new or revised policies.
SUSPENSION OF POLICIES
Any board policy or part thereof may be suspended, by a three-fourths vote of the total membership of the Board. This section of the policy has no bearing on section AG.
ADMINISTRATION IN POLICY ABSENCE
In cases where the Board has provided no guidelines for administrative action, the Director of Schools shall have the power to act, but report to the Board at its next meeting.
- TCA 49-2-207.
Issued Date: 03/20/14
The Director of Schools or a designee shall maintain all school system records required by law, regulation and board policy. Any citizen of Tennessee, state official or other authorized person shall be permitted, upon written request to the Custodian of Records (delivered in person or via U.S. Mail), at a reasonable time, to inspect all records maintained by the school district unless otherwise prohibited by law, regulation, or board policy. Emailed requests will not be accepted as valid open records requests. The records custodian or other authorized representative of the Board shall respond to the request with seven (7) business days to advise the requester of the status of their request in accordance with state law.1
A person who has the right to inspect a record may request and receive copies of the documents subject to the payment of reasonable cost.1,2,3,4 The requestor may be required to pay the cost of copies and/or the cost of labor required to fulfill their request, among other reasonable charges that may be incurred. These reasonable charges shall be calculated at the rate prescribed by the Schedule of Reasonable Charges as produced by the Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel as from time to time amended. The Board hereby adopts and incorporates herein the schedule of reasonable charges produced by the Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel as the schedule of charges for which a requestor may be required to pay if incurred in the course of responding to an open records request. Click here to view this schedule. When the total number of requests made by a requestor within a calendar year exceeds 4, but the time to produce the record requested each time is less than the one (1) hour threshold necessary to charge a reasonable fee, the Board may begin to charge the requestor a fee for any and all labor that is reasonably necessary to produce the copies of the requested records after informing the requestor that the aggregation limit has been met. Further, the names of person inspecting records and the date of inspection shall be recorded.
No records pertaining to individual students will be released for inspection by the public or any unauthorized persons.
The Director of Schools and/or his designee(s) shall retain and dispose of school district records in accordance with the following guidelines:2,4
1. The Director of Schools and/or his/her designee(s) will determine if a particular record is of permanent or temporary value in accordance with regulations promulgated by County Public Records Commissions and the Tennessee Institute for Public Services records manual;5,6
2. Temporary value records which have been kept beyond the required time may be recommended to the Public Records Commission for destruction;7,8
3. The records that the State Librarian and Archivist desire to preserve in their families will be transferred to the State Library and Archives. The temporary value records rejected by the State Library and Archives may be transferred to another institution or destroyed;7,8,9 and
4. Permanent records will be kept in some usable form. If the Director of School desires to destroy the original permanent record, these records must be reproduced by microfilming or some other permanent unamendable, reproduction method. Permission to destroy any original permanent record after microfilming shall be the same procedure noted above for temporary records.6,8
1. TCA 10-7-503
2. TCA 49-2-301 (f).(b)(1)(CC)
3. TCA 10-7-506 (a).
4. TCA 49-2-104.
5. TCA 10-7-401.
6. TCA 10-7-406.
7. TCA 10-7-404.
8. TCA 10-7-413.
9. TCA 10-7-414.
10. TCA 39-16-504
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board may maintain membership in the Tennessee School Boards Association,1 and through its membership in TSBA shall be an affiliate member of the Southern Region School Boards Association and the National School Boards Association.
Dues for membership in the Tennessee School Boards Association may be included in each annual budget in accordance with state statue.
The Board may also maintain institutional membership in other educational organizations, which the Board finds to be of benefit to members and school system personnel.
1. TCA 49-2-2001.
Issued Date: 08/28/08
Section 1. Definitions.
(1) “School district” means Warren School District, which was duly created by a public or private act of the General Assembly; and which includes all boards, committees, commissions, authorities, corporations or other instrumentalities appointed or created by the school district or an official of the school district.
(2) “Officials and employees” means and includes any official, whether elected or appointed, officer, employee or servant, or any member of any board, agency, commission, authority or corporation (whether compensated or not), or any officer, employee or servant thereof, of the school district.
(3) “Personal interest” means, for the purpose of disclosure of personal interests in accordance with this Code of Ethics, a financial interest of the official or employee, or a financial interest of the official’s or employee’s spouse or child living in the same household, in the matter to be voted upon, regulated, supervised, or otherwise acted upon in an official capacity.
Section 2. Disclosure of personal interest in voting matters.
An official or employee with the responsibility to vote on a measure shall disclose during the meeting at which the vote takes place, before the vote and to be included in the minutes, any personal interest that affects or that would lead a reasonable person to infer that it affects the official’s or employee’s vote on the measure. In addition, the official or employee may, to the extent allowed by law, recuse himself or herself from voting on the measure.
Section 3. Disclosure of personal interest in non-voting matters.
An official or employee who must exercise discretion relative to any matter other than casting a vote and who has a personal interest in the matter that affects or that would lead a reasonable person to infer that it affects the exercise of the discretion shall disclose, before the exercise of the discretion when possible, the interest on the attached disclosure form and file the disclosure form with the school district’s central office. In addition, the official or employee may, to the extent allowed by law, recuse himself or herself from the exercise of discretion in the matter.
Section 4. Acceptance of gifts and other things of value.
An official or employee, or an official’s or employee’s spouse or child living in the same household, may not accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, money, gratuity, or other consideration or favor of any kind from anyone other than the school district that a reasonable person would understand was intended to influence the vote, official action or judgment of the official or employee in executing decision-making authority affecting the school district.
It shall not be considered a violation of this policy for an official or employee to receive entertainment, food, refreshments, meals, health screenings, amenities, foodstuffs, or beverages that are provided in connection with a conference sponsored by an established or recognized statewide association of school board officials or by an umbrella or affiliate organization of such statewide association of school board officials.
Section 5. Ethics Complaints.
The school district may create a School District Ethics Committee (the “Ethics Committee”) consisting of three members who will be appointed to one-year terms by the Chairman of the Board of Education with confirmation by the board of education. At least two members of the committee shall be members of the board of education. The Ethics Committee shall convene as soon as practicable after its appointment and elect a chair and a secretary. The records of the Ethics Committee shall be maintained by the secretary and shall be filed in the office of the director of schools, where they shall be open to public inspection.
Questions and complaints regarding violations of this Code of Ethics or of any violation of state law governing ethical conduct should be directed to the chair of the Ethics Committee. Complaints shall be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint, and shall set forth in reasonable detail the facts upon which the complaint is based.
The School District Ethics Committee may investigate any credible complaint against an official or employee charging any violation of this Code of Ethics, or may undertake an investigation on its own initiative when it acquires information indicating a possible violation, and make recommendations for action to end or seek retribution for any activity that, in the Committee’s judgment, constitutes a violation of this Code of Ethics. If a member of the Committee is the subject of a complaint, such member shall recuse himself or herself from all proceedings involving such complaint.
The Committee may:
(1) refer the matter to the Board Attorney for a legal opinion and/or recommendations for action;
(2) in the case of an official, refer the matter to the school board body for possible public censure if the board body finds such action warranted;
(3) in the case of an employee, refer the matter to the official responsible for supervision of the employee for possible disciplinary action if the official finds discipline warranted;
(4) in a case involving possible violation of state statutes, refer the matter to the district attorney for possible ouster or criminal prosecution;
The interpretation that a reasonable person in the circumstances would apply shall be used in interpreting and enforcing this Code of Ethics. When a violation of this Code of Ethics also constitutes a violation of a personnel policy or a civil service policy, the violation shall be dealt with as a violation of the personnel or civil service provisions rather than as a violation of this Code of Ethics.
WARREN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT CODE OF ETHICS
CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
Instructions: This form is for reporting personal interests required to be disclosed under Section 3of the Code of Ethics of this school district. Officials and employees are required to disclose personal interests in matters that affect or would lead a reasonable person to infer that it would affect the exercise of discretion of an official or employee.
1. Date of disclosure: ____________________________
2. Name of official or employee:_______________________________________________
3. Office and position:_________________________________________________
4. Description of personal interest (describe below in detail):
Signature of official or employee
Printed name of witness
Appendix – Applicable State Laws
In addition to the ethical principles set out in this Code of Ethics, state laws also provide a framework for the ethical behavior of elected officials and employees in the performance of their duties. Officials and employees should familiarize themselves with the state laws applicable to their office or position and the performance of their duties. To the extent that an issue is addressed by state law (law of general application, public law of local application, local option law, or private act), the provisions of that state law, to the extent they are more restrictive, shall control. Following is a brief summary of selected state laws concerning ethics in local government. This summary is not intended to be an exhaustive listing of all existing applicable State laws. For the full text of these statutes, see the Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) sections indicated.
Campaign finance—T.C.A. Title 2, Chapter 10. Part One (campaign financial disclosure) requires candidates for public office to disclose contributions and contributors to their campaigns. Part Three (campaign contribution limits) limits the total amount of campaign contributions a candidate may receive from an individual and sets limits on the amount a candidate may receive in cash.
Conflict of interest—T.C.A. § 12-4-101 is the general conflict of interest statute that applies in all counties. It prohibits anyone who votes for, lets out, or in any manner supervises any work or contract from having a direct financial interest in that contract, purchase or work, and it requires disclosure of indirect financial interests by public acknowledgment.
Conflict of interest—T.C.A. § 49-6-2003 applies to the department of education in all counties and prohibits direct and indirect conflicts of interest in the sale of supplies for use in public schools.
Conflict of interest—T.C.A. § 5-1-125 applies in all counties and prohibits officials and employees from purchasing surplus school system property except where it is sold by public bid.
Conflict of interest—T.C.A. § 5-14-114 applies in counties that have adopted the County Purchasing Law of 1957. It prohibits the purchasing agent, members of the purchasing commission, and all county officials from having any financial or other personal beneficial interest in any contract or purchase of goods or services for any department or agency of the county.
Conflict of interest—T.C.A. § 5-21-121 applies in counties that have adopted the County Financial Management System of 1981. It prohibits all county officials and employees from having any financial or other personal beneficial interest in the purchase of any supplies, materials or equipment for the county.
Conflict of interest—T.C.A. §§ 5-5-102 and 12-4-101 govern disclosures and abstentions from voting due to conflicts of interest of members of county legislative bodies.
Conflict of interest disclosure statements—T.C.A. § 8-50-501 and the following sections require candidates and appointees to local public offices to file a disclosure statement with the state ethics commission listing major sources of income, investments, lobbying activities, professional services provided, bankruptcies, certain loans, and other information, and to keep these statements up to date.
Gifts—T.C.A. § 5-14-114 applies in counties that have adopted the County Purchasing Law of 1957. It prohibits the purchasing agent, members of the purchasing commission, and all county officials from receiving anything of value, directly or indirectly, from anyone who may have or obtain a contract or purchase order with the county.
Gifts—T.C.A. § 5-21-121 applies in counties that have adopted the County Financial Management System
of 1981. It prohibits the finance director, purchasing agent, and employees in those departments from accepting anything of value, directly or indirectly, from anyone who furnishes supplies, materials or equipment to the county.
Honoraria—T.C.A. § 2-10-116 prohibits elected officials from accepting an honorarium (including money or anything of value, but not including reimbursement for actual expenses) for an appearance, speech, or article in their official capacity.
Fee statutes—T.C.A. §§ 8-21-101, 8-21-102, and 8-21-103 set out circumstances where fees are authorized, prohibit officials from requiring payment of fees in advance of performance of services except where specifically authorized, and set penalties for charging excessive or unauthorized fees.
Consulting fee prohibition for elected county officials—T.C.A. §§ 2-10-122 and 2-10-124 prohibit officials from receiving compensation for advising or assisting a person or entity in influencing county legislative or administrative action.
Crimes involving public officials—T.C.A. § 39-16-101 and the following sections prohibit bribery, soliciting unlawful compensation, and buying and selling in regard to offices.
Official misconduct—T.C.A. § 39-16-402 applies to public servants and candidates for office and prohibits unauthorized exercise of official power, acting in an official capacity exceeding the servant’s power, refusal to perform a duty imposed by law, violating a law relating to the servant’s office or employment, and receiving a benefit not provided by law.
Official oppression—T.C.A. § 39-16-403 prohibits abuse of power by a public servant.
Bribery for votes—T.C.A. §§ 2-19-121, 2-19-126, and 2-19-127 prohibit bribery of voters in elections.
Misuse of official information—T.C.A. § 39-16-404 prohibits a public servant from attaining a benefit or aiding another person in attaining a benefit from information which was obtained in an official capacity and is not available to the public.
Ouster law—T.C.A. § 8-47-101 sets out conduct that is punishable by ouster from office, including misconduct in office and neglect of duty.
Issued Date: 06/24/99
A board member shall not be directly interested in any contract in which the Board may be interested. “Directly interested” means any contract with the board member or with any business in which the board member is sole proprietor, a partner, or the person having controlling interest. “Controlling interest” shall include the individual with the ownership or control of the largest number of outstanding shares owned by any single individual or corporation.
The policy shall not prohibit any board member from voting on the school budget or any budget amendments, unless the vote is on a specific budget amendment in which such board member is directly interested.
A board member shall not be indirectly interested in any contract in which the Board may be interested unless the board member publicly acknowledges such interest. “Indirectly interested” means any contract in which the board member is interested but not directly so, as defined above, including contracts in which the board member may have a direct interest but is the sole supplier of goods or services in the county.
Any board member who is an employee of the county/city and whose employment predates his/her initial election/appointment to the Board may vote on matters in which he/she has a conflict of interest if the member informs the Board immediately prior to the vote as follows: “Because I am an employee of (name of governmental unit), I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens the Board represents.” The vote of any board member having a conflict of interest who does not inform the Board of such conflict shall be void if challenged during the same board meeting at which the vote was cast and prior to the transaction of any further business by the Board.
Any board member who is also an employee of the county/city and whose employment began on or after the date on which he/she was initially elected/appointed to serve on the board shall not vote on matters in which he has a conflict of interest.
If a board member has a conflict of interest in a matter to be voted on by the Board, he/she should abstain for cause by announcing such to the chairman. Any board member, who has a relative (as defined by Board Policy BHB) who will directly benefit from a matter (i.e. program, subject, etc.) being considered by the Warren County Board of Education for implementation or amendment, should not vote on that particular matter. Any board member who abstains from voting for cause on any issue coming to a vote before the Board shall not be counted for the purpose of determining a majority vote.1
PENALTY FOR UNLAWFUL INTEREST
If a board member becomes directly or indirectly interested in any such contract, he/she shall forfeit all pay and compensation and shall be dismissed from the Board and be ineligible to serve in the same or similar position for ten (10) years.1
1. TCA 12-4-101; TCA 12-4-102.
Issued Date: 09/23/10
Whenever a person is considered by the Board for initial employment in the system and that person is related to a member of the Board, the Director, an administrator in the system, a county commissioner, or any appointed or elected county official, the fact of the relationship shall be publicly made known to the Board prior to the employment of such people.
For purposes of this policy, the term “related to” includes the following relationships: Father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, wife, husband, ex-wife, ex-husband, grandparent or grandchild.
From the date the Director of Schools is appointed, the following portion of the policy will become effective: It is the intent of the Board to hire and place personnel in accordance with this policy upon its approval by the Board. No employee presently in violation of this portion of the policy is to be terminated or transferred, however, any future placement or transfers of current employees, or new hires, re-hires or other forms of employment of current or new employees will be done in accordance with this section of the policy.
Relatives of the Director of Schools may not be employed unless the total Board is in agreement
Employees may not work under the general or immediate supervision of relatives unless approved by the Board. This policy can be waived by the Director of Schools for extra-curricular activities on a case by case basis, only as needed. The waiver must be requested in writing and must state the reason why the waiver should be granted.
Whenever, through promotion, transfer, or marriage, a situation is created which is contrary to the above regulations, one of the related employees affected is to be transferred or terminated within a reasonable time period (end of semester) from the date the change occurs. The affected employees should be provided a choice as to which employee will remain in his/her present position, transfer or terminate employment. In the event the employees are unable to choose between or among themselves, the Director of Schools shall make the selection based on system needs.
If the Director of Schools needs to fill personnel positions that might be in conflict with this policy, the Director may take it to the Board to waive or not.
Issued Date: 10/23/08
Because of potential ethical issues that may arise and the negative public perception created when members of the Warren County Board of Education accept employment within the Warren County School System during or after their tenure on the Board, it is hereafter the recommendation of the Warren County Board of Education that any past or present member of the Warren County Board of Education shall not be employed in any capacity, including, but not limited to all teaching, administrative, supervisory, classified, non-classified, supplemental and central office staff positions, by the Warren County School System within 24 calendar months from the last official day in office as a Board Member on the Warren County Board of Education.
Issued Date: 11/01/95
The Board will work for the passage of new laws designed to advance the cause of improving education and for the repeal or modification of existing laws and the defeat of proposed laws that impede this cause.
To accomplish this:
- The Board may stay informed of pending legislation and actively communicate its concerns and make its position known to the elected representatives at both the state and national level;
- The Board may work with other school boards in the state, local citizen groups, and other local officials in acquainting them with the board’s legislative priorities and seek their support;
- The Board may annually select one (1) of its members to serve as its representative to the Tennessee Legislative Network (TLN);
- The Board may work with its TLN representative, with TSBA, NSBA, and other concerned groups in developing an annual legislative program; and
- The Board may include in its budget appropriate resources, including travel expense, necessary for its TLN representative and other board members to accomplish its desired legislative goals.