New Granite donor policy passes, despite community objections
Issue could go before Utah Legislature
The parents in attendance promised to continue their efforts to change the policy, even after Rep. Lynn Hemingway, D-Millcreek, spoke at the meeting and said he was committed to sponsoring a bill making the new district rule a statewide law.
Some of the parents wondered why the rule was aimed at donors when the problems arose with how the district handled donations. Bates said he understands that concern because many of the issues involved a lack of education or understanding of how the kindness of donors could run afoul of state laws governing the ethics of public employees.
"I’m responsible for that," he said of how school administrators district-wide failed to manage donations properly. "That's why I think this is good policy; it protects all of us. I can't sit back and not do anything knowing what I know today. I’m responsible to protect my people. I think they were unaware they were across the line."
Fraser said that he believes the problem is statewide and that most teachers are poorly informed about the state law that prevents them from taking any gift that might influence them.
"Across the board, we have not, in every single school district, and at the state school board level, not done a good job of training our educators on our ethics act," said Fraser.
The new training attempts to do that, while the new policy more clearly spells out how donations are handled and what donors can and cannot do if they give.
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