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School board decides against creating nepotism policy

April 01, 2013

The Washington County Board of Education’s Human Resources Committee decided last month not to recommend creating a nepotism policy because the board’s ethics policy covers the matter, according to Board of Education member Wayne Ridenour, who chairs the committee.

Ridenour said it didn’t make sense to create an independent nepotism policy when the ethics policy already covers the issue.

For months, school system officials have been reviewing policies to eliminate redundancies and make revisions where needed.

Board Vice President Paul Bailey and board member Donna Brightman, the other two board members on the Human Resources Committee, said they thought the board’s ethics policy covered nepotism issues.

The ethics policy includes a provision that school system officials, including board members and employees, cannot participate in any matter for which a “qualified relative” has an interest. A qualified relative is described as a spouse, parent, child or sibling.

Ridenour’s wife, sister and niece each have taught for the school system for at least 20 years, starting years before he became a board member, Ridenour said.

— Julie E. Greene

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