Who is the spokesman for a school board?
Division III, article 155 of the education act reads:
The chairman is the official spokesman for the school board. As official spokesman, the chairman shall publicly state the position of the school board on any subject affecting it, in particular where the chairman is involved, on behalf of the school board, with the various organizations devoted to local and regional development.
The law is very clear on this one – the Chair of the school board is the spokesman. Period.
So – let’s define “spokesman” then.
Webster defines spokesman as:
a person who speaks as the representative of another or others often in a professional capacity
So, the spokesman is the person who speaks as the school board’s representative. Good. But does that mean that other elected officials should not speak publicly about our school board? No. Other elected officials should not represent themselves as speaking on behalf of the board. But they are 100% entitled to their opinion, and in fact, are obliged to do so.
Division III section 177.1 of the education act reads:
The members of the council of commissioners must act within the scope of the functions and powers conferred on them, and exercise the care, prudence and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances; they must also act with honesty and loyalty and in the interest of the school board and the population served by the school board.
We must act with honesty and loyalty and in the interest of the school board and the population served by the school board.
This is an interesting one. What if a commissioner believes that by speaking out against a decision taken by council, that he is acting in the best interest of the school board and the population that it serves?
That happens in a democracy. And we should do everything that we can to make sure that this type of dissent is not quashed. If we don’t, then why have elected officials?