Sunday, January 24, 2016

APS board to commit political suicide Thursday evening next

The APS school board's fat is in the fire in the school bond issue and mill levy election.  Their stewardship is in question; not the quality of if it, rather, whether it should play in the election.

You would think they'd be laying low; that they would stop, as the Journal editors so cleverly put it; shooting themselves in the foot.

There is an ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS.   The most scandalous of the manifestations are the double standards of conduct.

  • Students, according to the student handbook and the standards of conduct adopted by the board for students and enforced by the administration, are accountable to a code of ethics.
  • In stark contrast, school board members and superintendents are manifestly unaccountable even to the law.  They routinely squander hundreds of thousands of dollars on litigation and legal weaselry in order to sign admissions of no guilt in settlement agreements.
According the student handbook and APS student standards of conduct; students expected to "model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!"  The Pillars represent a nationally recognized, accepted, respected code of ethical conduct.

The APS school board has their own code of ethics, APS BoE CoE.
By their own free admission, it is utterly unenforceable.

The board, in order to evade personal, "legal" accountability as  
role models of (honest to God accountability to)higher standards 
of conduct than the version of the law they practice, removed the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct.

Until that reprehensible act of moral cowardice, they were accountable to a standard of conduct that read;
In no case, shall the standards of conduct for an adult
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.

I have argued from the public
forum for quite some time;
just because they removed
the role modeling clause
from their own standards of
conduct, they haven't escaped
their obligations and
responsibilities as the senior
most role models of accountability to the standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students.

They are still the senior most role models whether they like it or not; whether they admit it or not.  And they are doing a very, very bad job.  Dual standards of conduct are naked hypocrisy; the worst kind of role modeling.

I have pointed out on numerous occasions;
they have three choices;
  1. continue the hypocrisy, or
  2. end the hypocrisy by raising their own standards, or
  3. end the hypocrisy by lowering student standards of conduct.
I expected the first choice.

They haven't the character and courage required of the second choice, though it could just the extinguisher they need for the flames that will engulf them if they pick either the first or third option. 

The third is political suicide.

In particular, it is political suicide in the midst of bond issue and mill levy elections and, at a time when the board's stewardship in particular is being called into increasing question.

Nevertheless, they are considering the third.

Proposed changes to the student handbook, changes, will erase the expectation that students will be encouraged to embrace higher standards of conduct, character, courage and honor.

Students now too, will be accountable only to the lowest standards of conduct commonly acceptable to civilized human beings; lower if they have money and or power and or unscrupulous lawyers enough.

Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility,
Caring, Fairness, and Citizenship.
The Pillars of Character
Counts!, at least for now,
still adorn some district
stationery, and the sides
of their police cars.

The board finds them too onerous to obey, even for the few hours a day, they expect students to model and promote them.

So they will lowered them.  Students and their senior-most role models will no longer model and promote honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct.

From now on, students and their adult role models will be "expected to be responsible members of the community".

Try enforcing that one in court.
Or in any other venue.

Even if you want to object to what they trying to do; you can't.

There is no public forum, agenda,
and its against "the(ir) law"
to hold up posters, even if you're
standing peacefully in the back
of the room.

Depending on the mood of the
committee's chair; you might
even get arrested by members
of their publicly funded private
police force.

Just so you know.

photos Mark Bralley

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