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Newton Schools to keep conflict of interest policy

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Education will retain one of its personnel policies that originally was slated to be abolished.

In October, Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews recommended that the school board retain, revise or replace 24 of the 74 policies and abolish 50 policies in the personnel section, Section G. It was suggested by the Georgia School Boards Association, which has worked with NCSS to recommend the policies to keep and some to abolish due to other authority like state law or the state BOE covering it or due to redundancy.

The board has previously approved other policy sections this year, after a review was suggested following a visit from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2008.

One of the policies being considered for abolishment this month included GAG -- Staff Conflict of Interest, which also is covered by an educator code of ethics and current law.

It states that no BOE employee shall engage in or have a financial interest, directly or indirectly, in any activity that conflicts or raises a reasonable question of conflict with his or her duties and responsibilities. Additionally, it states that administrators and supervisors employed by the BOE shall not directly supervise, evaluate or recommend for continuation of contract or termination of employment family members.

However, Mathews changed his mind on his recommendation, instead suggesting at the school board's monthly meeting in November that the board keep policy GAG. He said he called Marvene Brooks, legal consultant for GSBA, who agreed that NCSS would be best served by its retention.

"While both state law and the educators' code of conduct were cited by GSBA as sufficient coverage with respect to staff conflict of interest, I felt it was in everyone's best interest to be covered to the optimal extent possible by school board policy as well," Mathews said in an email Monday.

The board agreed, unanimously accepting Mathews' new recommendation at its November meeting.

The board is reviewing its next set of policies that it will approve this month. They cover Section I, instruction program.

A copy of the policy manual is available on the NCSS website, www.newtoncountyschools.org.

Comments

Frustrated 2 years ago

Next step...what to do about the Carpenters? WIll one be shifted to another position or will the situation just be ignored?

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Freshvoice2012 2 years ago

This is crazy. They don't even follow it. Grow some kahunas paper people and ask each board member and Matthews where they stand on this issue of Carpenter supervising Carpenter and report the results to us. You know the other paper won't do it so please report and let us decide.

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OnToday 2 years ago

It's one thing for a handful of people to try to get rid of the policy, but it's another thing for NO ONE to enforce it. Now that it has been retained, how about enforcing it? Seriously considering filing a class action lawsuit. Who is with me?

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Thishonky 2 years ago

I wonder if Dennis Carpenter if one of the "FIVE" - if so it is time to let Muscogee County school system in Georgia know who Dennis Carpenter really is:

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/11/26/2290956/muscogee-county-school-board-selects.html

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Frustrated 2 years ago

dont say anything and maybe we will be lucky and they will hire him

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TheUpside 2 years ago

A reasonable conflict does exist. Missing money allegations at Alcovy where spouse oversees spouse budget???? What other school do we hear this about today in Newton? None. NO SPLOST do not waste your time. You have proven your ethics NCSS by allowing the spouse situation to exist. Not another penny.

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Shart15 2 years ago

One only has to Google the mess with nepotism in Dougherty County at the AJC to see where Newton is headed.

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NoSPLOST 2 years ago

Vote NO March 19th on SPLOST. Answer the missing money requests and show where LaQuanda Carpenter reimbursed all losses and we can reconsider.

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MamaTurd 2 years ago

We must follow Policy GAG and write emails and letters to the editor asking for the BOE to ENFORCE it. Policies that go unenforced allow people to operate however they wish and create their own set of rules. This is happening in certain places and it destroys morale and our system. For example, if LaQuanda Carpenter did use school system email to move her lawsuit along then she clearly violated the Unacceptable Use Policy that is up for review at the 12/18/2012 meeting at 7 p.m. On October 9th if she did use school system email to dismiss her lawsuit then she acted as an employee and may have exposed the system to litigation based on the content of her email. Should we as teachers have had to receive that email on taxpayer systems and did we even agree with its content from a building leader presenting us with a conflict of interest to choose between her - the principal who went after many - or the board member to whom she refers as "win at any cost." I anticipate litigation don't you? A clever lawyer can use that letter - did LaQuanda Carpenter have the dismissal email prior approved by Gary Mathews? It seems unlikely as we are told he was surprised during a meeting by the dismissal on email. We cannot all play by our own individual rules. Seems to me anyone attacked in the lawsuit could sue the system here. What about the teacher out of state who got that nasty cease and desist letter. Game on for him now I think. Here is what that policy says in number 10: Descriptor Code: IFBG. "Students and employees shall not use the network for . . . personal and/or private business." Gary Mathews - will you reprimand Carpenter here? May want to do so in case a lawsuit hits you soon.

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MamaTurd 2 years ago

And - sorry for part 2 here - here are the consequences for violating the policy IFBG - and her email is public all over the place - some attorney she had huh? Here are the consequences so let's see what plays out: "Employee violation of the above rules will result in a disposition which may include but is not limited to the following: warning, reprimand, suspension, referral to law enforcement, and termination. Does the pursuit of litigation by either or both the Carpenters fall under this? Is there evidence of such "pursuit" that they should worry about?

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MamaTurd 2 years ago

Our schools are only as good as we demand that they be. SInce SACS is coming in the spring make your voice known to Mark Elgart, President of AdvancED/SACS if you feel that the local system is ignoring you. SACS looks at policies and how and if they are being followed toward an end of greater student achievement. If policies are made and violated they need to know. Contact them here:

Alpharetta Office 9115 Westside Parkway Alpharetta, GA 30009 678.392.2285

Email: contactus@advanc-ed.org

http://www.advanc-ed.org/contact-us

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