The Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education has approved a new code of ethics for trustees that among other things requires members to honor restrictions on releasing confidential material to the public.
The board this week unanimously approved the code, which members proposed last month after Trustee Rosemarie Avila allegedly leaked confidential documents to the press regarding two land deals.
After members pointed out that such leaks violate the California Education Code and could have resulted in a lawsuit against the district, the board majority voted 3-2 to censure Avila.
The code is the board’s first, said district spokeswoman Diane Thomas.
The new policy states that board members “shall not disclose confidential information acquired or available to them in the course of their service.”
Ironically the issue of confidentiality, which has sparked heated debate in past meetings, was largely ignored by the board as it tinkered with other wording in the ethics document.
Some of those portions now state that trustees should consider issues without regard to partisan biases, abide by decisions made by the majority of the board and respect the views of all board members.