Policy 215 Issue Continues

Independent School District 200 residents have been inquiring about the possible enactment of Policy 215 pertaining to Board Members Carrie Tate and Jessica Dressely, citing violations of Policy 209-Code of Ethics. Policy 215 is entitled ?Addressing School Board Member Violations? and the purpose is as follows, ?the Board and each of its members are committed to faithful compliance with the provisions of the Board?s policies?. Policy 215 outlines a 4 step process to address violations or other forms of misconduct, if committed by sitting board members. The first step is a private conversation within the board, the second step is a discussion of the matter in a public meeting between the offending member and the full school board, the third step is ?public censure, by simple majority vote, of the offending member as well as removal from committees and leadership positions, to which the member has been appointed or elected? and finally the forth step is ?removal from the school board for proper cause by a concurrent vote of at least four members. The board member to be removed will be duly notified of the time and place of the meeting for which the vote is to be taken, and for the reasons for the proposed removal. The board member will be given an opportunity to be heard in defense against the removal?. Policy 215 states that ?most issues are intended to fall into category (or step) 1 and categories 2-4 are intended for extreme and/or repeated instances of violations where Category 1 has not resulted in a change in member behaviors. Legal References: MN 123.B.09; Subd. 9. Removing board members?. Superintendent Dr. Robert McDowell responded to our request for a comment regarding the timeline of the policy’s adoption and the reasoning for using Policy 215 on Directors Tate and Dressely, saying ?It might be helpful to explain that the school board has the ability to create policies. Policy 215 Addressing School Board Member Violations was first read at the November 23rd, 2021 school board regular meeting, and then adopted by the board at the December 8, 2021 regular meeting…The policy itself also explains how the board should go about addressing a board member’s violation?. As written, Policy 215 doesn’t require the public to be informed when it is being used to address policy violations. Research conducted by KDWA has revealed that the first step of Policy 215 has been in enacted toward Board Members Tate and Dressely. It is possible that the public discussion of the ?Book Fair Incident? at the February 23 meeting would quality as implementing step 2.Stay tuned to KDWA for more details.

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