Weekly Feature

2011-07-06 / Front Page

Schools review bereavement policy

By Darlene M. Donohue

The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board, during its meeting Friday afternoon, discussed establishment of a policy regarding expenditures for deceased persons associated with the district.

According to Bob Dana, the board’s president, there isn’t a policy in place that explains how much or what the district can budget for when it comes to purchasing items or hosting an event when a person connected with the school district (student, employee, etc.) dies.

“It is not ethical for taxpayers to pay for us to send someone flowers after a death,” he said. “We should be using our personal money if we feel the need to send flowers to a funeral home.”

He said the district should only spend money for bereavement if it’s to fund an event in which the entire district can participate. Dana then cited the memorial service that was held in September for Brian Dugan, a well-liked English teacher and coach.

“That was an event that everyone in the district could participate in. It was appropriate to use funds for an event like that,” he said.

However, even in the case of funding for an event like the one that was held for Dugan, Dana said the board still needs to give the OK.

“We don’t spend a lot of money on those types of events, or to purchase flowers, but there should be a policy in place to determine what types of events we should be funding,” said Dana.

In other action, the board reelected Dana as its president during its organizational meeting, which was held prior to Friday’s board meeting. Steven Brooks was elected as vice president.

Dana told The Bee he looks forward to continuing his service as the board’s president. He said he will continue to increase transparency in terms of what the school board is doing, and will also look to the public to strengthen its relationship with the school board.

“I hope that more people will get involved by coming to our meetings,” he said.

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