Ethics, Schmethics.

In case you don't have one of these collecting dust mites in your library, I refer you to The New Jersey School Board Association's "Basic Boardsmanship", the reference guide for New Jersey School Board officials on conduct, ethics and practices. You know, that junk.

"Board members have diverse opinions, and they will not always be in agreement on issues. Each member of a board has the responsibility to make sure that disagreements stay focused on the issues and do not become personal. Members have equal rights to be heard and to agree or dissent as their consciences dictate. Once a decision is reached, however, all board members should support it. Nothing is more damaging to a board and the reputation of everyone on it than for individual board members to qualrrel publicly with decisions that the board has made. Such actions throws doubt on all of the board's efforts, even those the dissenter may support, and creates in the community's mind an image of an ineffective, combative group."

Pick your favorite line. I've got a soft spot for this one:

"Nothing is more damaging to a board and the reputation of everyone on it than for individual board members to quarrel publicly with decisions that the board has made."

Though there's t a little exaggeration in the "nothing could be more damaging to a board" part. What about acts of G-d such as earthquakes, tsunamis and (if you believe in this stuff) plagues sent by G-d to punish the wicked? Yes, Tutmoses II, King of Egypt, laughed too. Until his eldest son got smited. (Smote? Smitten?)

So I'd say SECOND to one or more Board members openly slamming fellow Board members over a policy disagreement, such as a Superintendent selection, natural or divine disasters could be much, much more damaging.


  1. Back to "Boardmanship" school (a.k.a. anger management) for Sullivan. Her conduct following the Romano vote was less than becoming and it will be interesting to see if this becomes her modus operandi every time she loses a vote on a major issue. Her voluminous blogging besmirching Romano at every chance she could certainly created a poisonous climate which cannot have helped the Board negotiations or future negotiations with another candidate. Not to mention burning every bridge on the Board with her surreal accusations that anyone in opposition to her was anti-reform and part of "the machine." Although if you're willing to vilify your colleagues after losing a vote it's not a stretch to run an election slate against them while pretending you're not. My favorite Maureen First moment was her "resignation" from an electoral slate when not actually running for election. Nothing like the safety of your Board seat from which to wreak havoc. I have a sneaking suspicion that her school report cards might have included some or all of the following phrases about her behavior: needs to improve listening skills, does not like to share, does not play well in groups, is unable to her control temper, is not a team player, destroys group projects them when she loses interest.


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