topleft CSBA.org >  Services >  Governance Technology > 

Ukiah USD |  BB  9011  Board Bylaws

Disclosure Of Confidential/Privileged Information   

arrow Previous bar Next arrow

The Board of Education recognizes the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of information acquired as part of a Board member's official duties. Confidential/privileged information shall be released only to the extent authorized by law.

(cf. 9000 - Role of the Board)

(cf. 9005 - Governance Standards)

(cf. 9010 - Public Statements)

Disclosure of Closed Session Information

A Board member shall not disclose confidential information acquired during a closed session to a person not entitled to receive such information, unless a majority of the Board has authorized its disclosure. (Government Code 54963)

Confidential information means a communication made in a closed session that is specifically related to the basis for the Board to meet lawfully in closed session. (Government Code 54963)

(cf. 4119.23/4219.23/4319.23 - Unauthorized Release of Confidential/Privileged Information)

(cf. 9321 - Closed Session Purposes and Agendas)

(cf. 9321.1 - Closed Session Actions and Reports)

The Board shall not take any action against any person for disclosing confidential information, nor shall the disclosure be considered a violation of the law or Board policy, when the person is: (Government Code 54963)

1. Making a confidential inquiry or complaint to a district attorney or grand jury concerning a perceived violation of law, including disclosing facts necessary to establish the illegality or potential illegality of a Board action that has been the subject of deliberation during a closed session

2. Expressing an opinion concerning the propriety or legality of Board action in closed session, including disclosure of the nature and extent of the illegal or potentially illegal action

3. Disclosing information that is not confidential

Other Disclosures

A Board member shall not disclose, for pecuniary gain, confidential information acquired in the course of his/her official duties. Confidential information includes information that is not a public record subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, information that by law may not be disclosed, or information that may have a material financial effect on the Board member. (Government Code 1098)

(cf. 4112.6/4212.6/4312.6 - Personnel Files)

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

Disclosures excepted from this prohibition are those made to law enforcement officials or to the joint legislative audit committee when reporting on improper governmental activities. (Government Code 1098)

The Board has a strong commitment to ethics. The public expects and must receive the highest standards of ethics from all of those in public service. In order to be able to enforce conformance to its ethical policies, the Board must have a procedure by which it can censure its own members for violation of its policies or bylaws of the Board.

Policy

It is the policy of the Board that all of its members shall abide by federal and state law that are applicable to members of the Board, as well as to Board policies or bylaws. Violation of such laws, policies, or bylaws tends to injure the good name of the district and undermine the effectiveness of the Board as a whole. Such conduct is deemed to be a dereliction of duty. Censure is a formal resolution of the Board officially reprimanding one of its members. Censure is an appropriate punitive measure when the violation of law or policy is deemed by the Board to be a serious offense.

In order to protect the overriding principle of freedom of speech, the Board shall not impose "censure" on any of its members solely for the lawful exercise of his or her First Amendment rights no matter how distasteful the expression was to the district and Board.

In order to ensure the right to a fair jury trial, the Board shall not impose "censure" on any of its members for the violation of any criminal law while criminal charges are pending. However, when the criminal proceedings are final, the Board need not be bound by the conclusions of the criminal Court and may hold a "censure" hearing.

Procedures

1. A request for a "censure" hearing must be submitted to the Superintendent in writing by no less than three members of the Board. The request must contain the specific charge(s) on which the proposed censure is based and the written material(s) which are the basis for the charge(s).

2. A copy of the request for censure and the charge(s) shall be sent by the Superintendent's office to all the members of the Board at least five business days prior to the Board meeting at which it will be considered. The request and charge(s) shall be agendized in accordance with the Brown Act for the meeting of the Board.

3. The Board shall determine that either:

a. Further investigation of the charge(s) is required; or

b. The matter is to be set for public hearing; or

c. No action is required

4. Further investigation, if required, shall be done by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Board President, with the assistance of district staff and legal counsel as needed and requested by the ad hoc committee. If the Board President is the subject of the request, the committee shall be formed by the Vice-President.

5. If the matter is set for public hearing, it must be set no sooner than the next regularly scheduled Board meeting following the Board's determination under #3 of these procedures in order to give the accused Board member adequate time to prepare a defense.

6. At the public hearing, the member of the Board subject to the request shall be given the opportunity to respond to the request and to provide the Board information and material(s) relevant to the charge(s). The proponents of the request may also respond to the presentation and members of the Board may ask questions pertaining to the matter at hand. The member subject to the charge(s) may be represented at his/her own personal expense and may have the representative speak on his/her behalf.

7. A decision to censure requires the adoption of a resolution making findings with regard to the specific charge(s), based on substantial evidence, and approved by a majority vote of the Board.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

35010 Power of governing board to adopt rules for its own governance

35146 Closed session

EVIDENCE CODE

1040 Privilege for official information

GOVERNMENT CODE

1098 Public officials and employees re confidential information

3549.1 Meeting and negotiating in public educational employment

6250-6270 Inspection of public records

54950-54963 Brown Act, especially:

54956.8 Open meeting laws

54956.9 Closed meeting for pending litigation

54957 Closed session; "employee" defined; exclusion of witnesses

54957.1 Subsequent public report and rollcall vote; employee matters in closed session

54957.5 Public records

54957.6 Closed session; representatives with employee organization

54957.7 Reasons for closed session

54963 Confidential information in closed session

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

80 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 231 (1997)

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

Professional Governance Standards, November 2000

Maximizing School Board Leadership, 1996

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

Bylaw UKIAH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: November 12, 2013 Ukiah, California