The Ketchikan School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to approve changes to a board policy covering ethics for district employees.
The vote was delayed from the board’s previous meeting over concern about wording. The Code of Ethics policy stated that the district “may” report ethics violations to the Professional Teaching Practices Commission.
The original proposal changed “may” report to “must” report. Board President Matt Eisenhower was worried that “must” was not the best word choice, from a legal standpoint. The board agreed to delay voting in order to hear from an attorney.
Superintendent Beth Lougee (LAU-gee) said Wednesday that the attorney confirmed “shall” is a better phrase.
“Based on that ‘shall’ is a strong legal term. It leaves some subjectivity,” she said. “But in the reporting as with a ‘must,’ then that’s what you’re coming down to is you must report every incident and you leave no discretion for administration to follow our other policies that are in place for investigating and making informed decisions on whether something needs to be reported.”
The school district has been working through various board policies to update them. Lougee says amended policies are uploaded on the district’s website as they are updated.
The next Ketchikan School Board meeting is July 17th.