Grapevine-Colleyville to require ethics course for all employees

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Teachers, administrators and all other employees of the Grapevine-Colleyville school district will be required to take a supplemental ethics training course, according to a letter posted Monday on the district's website from Superintendent Robin Ryan.

The action comes amid recent reports of district employees who are being investigated for improper relationships with students, according to the letter, which was addressed to parents and community members.

The district's 1,817 employees, including 873 teachers, will have one-hour sessions with annual follow-ups at the beginning of each school year.

"Parents we have spoken with have expressed some concern and asked how the district was planning to move forward," said Megan Overman, school spokeswoman.

Earlier this month, Kerry Jones, a Colleyville Heritage High School counselor, was indicted on four counts of having an improper relationship with a student. He is currently on administrative leave. In March, Cody Ray Dickson, a choir teacher at the school, was arrested on suspicion of an improper relationship with a student and online solicitation of a minor. He has resigned.

"As your superintendent, as well as a resident in this community and a father in this district, these reports are as concerning to me as they are to you," Ryan said.

The training program that the district will use is titled "Understanding & Applying the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics."

David Thompson of Thompson Education Consulting Group in San Antonio will present the sessions, which will include ethical conduct toward colleagues and students. The training program will cost the district $5,500, plus Thompson's travel and expenses, and will be paid for with funds from the general operating budget that are allocated for staff development.

Sessions will be conducted mostly in campus groups for employees and teachers at the schools, and in departmental groups for central administrators and auxiliary employees.

Training will be scheduled during staff meeting times, conference periods or before and after school.

The district's day-to-day safety procedures include background checks of all employees and job applicants. District policies regarding conduct are spelled out in the employee handbook.

Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657

Twitter: @startelegram

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