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School board to study family work policy

The proposed policy would bar immediate family members from being in supervisory and subordinate roles in the same school.

The proposed policy would bar immediate family members from being in supervisory and subordinate roles in the same school.

September 04, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County Board of Education members voted unanimously Tuesday night to investigate whether a policy should be initiated to prohibit immediate family members from being in supervisory-subordinate roles at the same school.

Board member Pat Murphy first made a motion that Superintendent Manny Arvon create such a policy, but members amended the motion.

The policy would apply to professional and service employees.

"You don't want the workplace to be a family reunion every day," Murphy said after the meeting.

Board member Rick Pill said he'd like to know what kind of policies exist in other counties, including in Virginia and Maryland.

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Board President Bill Queen questioned whether the policy was needed, saying having family members in the same school can be beneficial. He cited an instance at Hedgesville Middle School, where the principal's daughter is assistant principal.

"I think it can work for you," he said. "We've not had a situation where it worked against us.

"If we don't have a problem, why fix it?"

Murphy, however, speaking in general, said if a student had a problem with a teacher, the student's parents may feel it inappropriate to contact an administrator if the administrator is related to the teacher.

If a policy were created, Murphy said it would not apply to family members who held equal positions - if both were teachers, for instance.

An update on the proposal is expected at the board's Nov. 18 meeting.

During 15 minutes of discussion before voting, board member Todd Beckwith asked Murphy whether family members in such a situation now would be grandfathered in should a policy be adopted.

Murphy said he did not want to "drive them out," but said they should be given enough time to seek other employment.

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