Wake County Schools

Wake school board looks to beef up ethics policy

Posted June 25, 2013

Wake County Public School System

— The Wake County Board of Education discussed Tuesday how to strengthen its ethics policy in the wake of details about the board's recent superintendent search being leaked to area media.

Jim Merrill, superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools, was named a week ago as the new leader of the Wake County Public School System. But many people already knew he was the school board's choice for the position after information about the board's deliberations leaked out.

"The leak was very disturbing. When you work in closed session, materials should stay in closed session," board member Jim Martin said Tuesday.

Distrust has been common among school board members in recent years, and Martin called the leak the last straw. He insisted that, while the board understands the need for transparency, some things need to remain behind closed doors.

The board already has a code of ethics, but there are no consequences in the policy. Having a systematic approach to deal with ethical misconduct will encourage members to treat each other with respect, take their responsibilities seriously and act with integrity, some board members said.

"We want to be able to hold ourselves accountable to high standards so we can be a strong board," board member Christine Kushner said.

Wake school board meeting Wake board wants punishments for ethical misconduct

Suggestions Tuesday included adding reprimands and censure to the list of options before the board formally asks the Wake County District Attorney's Office to remove a member for misconduct.

Board Chairman Keith Sutton cautioned fellow members not to use the policy for personal vendettas.

"So it doesn't end up being some partisan deal or witch hunt (and) is fairly applied," Sutton said.

"I'm hoping we never have to use this policy," board member Bill Fletcher said.

The board's attorney will tweak the policy's language before sending it back to the board for discussion at next month's work session.


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  • Supie Jun 26, 2013

    "ethical misconduct" is an oxymoron. is it ethical or is it misconduct ? come Onnn

  • MadMaxx Jun 26, 2013

    The County School Board? Democrat majority?? Ethics??? Now that is hilarious.

    They are trying to get with the No Bama ways of dealing with leaking information to the public. Hahahahahahaha. Too funny, democRATS and ethics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahah

  • tired2 Jun 26, 2013

    JohnDrescher....Democrats have nothing to do with it....Repubs are just as bad

  • whatelseisnew Jun 26, 2013

    Ethics??? The guy sitting in my district told blatant lies in order to win a very close vote. He acted directly the opposite of what he said he would do soon after the election. If he had any ethics or morals, he would not have done what he did, and at the very least he ought to apologize for what he did and resign. It does not surprise me that he is one of the typical lifer educators. He exemplifies much that is wrong with the horrible public system.

  • tired2 Jun 26, 2013

    westernwake1..."Is WRAL starting a comedy section?"...no, the comedy started when Johnny Boy joined the other clowns...it was a tragedy before that. The leak to the "Don" just proves none of them can be trusted - including some former members.

  • Honesty first Jun 26, 2013

    My understanding is that the discussion on the selection were to be confidential. Apparently, "someone" shared this information with former chair Margiotta who then promptly went to the media and spouted off. Now lets all guess who might have spoken with Margiotta. Could it have been Sutton? That was an attempt at humor.

  • com_mon_sents Jun 25, 2013

    "so we can be a strong board"...that is another big laugh. never in your dreams will this board be considered a "strong board"...only if they all resign and we vote in a total new board.

  • 426X3 Jun 25, 2013

    You have got to be kidding?

  • westernwake1 Jun 25, 2013

    "Wake school board looks to beef up ethics policy"

    Ethics policy? I'm rolling on the floor with laughter!

  • injameswetrust2003 Jun 25, 2013

    Rebel- I agree - a laughable action. Kind of like the wolf guarding the henhouse. Will "namecaller" Tedesco, Susan 'foul-mouthed' Evans and Keith "we're going to kick your...." Sutton follow these rules?