Constitution and Bylaws
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Article I: NAME AND MISSION
The name of this council shall be the District 43 Parent Advisory Council (DPAC).
District 43 Parent Advisory Council’s mission is to facilitate, support and advocate for the effective involvement of parents as partners working towards excellence in education.
Article II PURPOSE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of the Council is to support, encourage and improve the quality of education and the well being of students in School District #43 by:
- Acting as a non-partisan volunteer organization that meets regularly to foster parental involvement.
- Assisting parents in forming Parent Advisory Councils in their schools, and to encourage their membership in them.
- Facilitating the exchange of ideas and information among Parent Advisory Councils in the School District.
- Providing information regarding educational matters to parents and Parent Advisory Councils.
- Expressing the collective parent voice to educational issues in School District #43.
The aims and objectives of the District 43 Parent Advisory Council shall be to:
- Promote the interest of public education by fostering cooperation and communication among parents, students, educators, and school district representatives.
- Advise the school board on parental views about the school district’s programs and policies.
- Communicate with Parent Advisory Councils about school district policies, programs, and activities.
- Provide leadership in developing and understanding the rights and responsibilities of parents within the education system.
- Assist parents and Parent Advisory Councils in accessing the system.
- Assist its members in obtaining information about school district and provincial programs and policies, and communicating with district representatives.
- Liaise with District partner groups.
- Promote a positive image of the public school system within the District.
- Liaise between our members and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, which advises and communicates with the Ministry of Education and other Provincial partner groups.
In these Bylaws and in the Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
- “Parent” means parents, or legal guardians of a child or children attending public school in School District #43;
- “PAC” means a Parent Advisory Council;
- “Council” and “DPAC” means the District 43 Parent Advisory Council;
- “Executive” means the Executive committee of DPAC;
- “Member” or “Member Association” means a Parent Advisory Council or an Honorary Member of DPAC;
- “Honorary Member” means an individual who, through their experiences and contributions, is considered invaluable to the DPAC or PAC but does not otherwise qualify as a regular member;
- “School District #43 Partner groups” include Coquitlam Principals’ and Vice Principals’ Association (CPVPA), Coquitlam Teachers’ Association (CTA), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 561, Student Leadership Council (SLC), and the Board of School Trustees;
- “BCCPAC” means the British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.
Article I Membership
Section 1. Members, Eligibility and Admission
- The voting membership of the District #43 Parent Advisory Council are individual School District 43 Parent Advisory Councils, with one vote per PAC exercised by a duly elected delegate, as per the School Act.
- Representatives from the School Board, District Administration, CPVPA, CTA, CUPE Local 561, SLC, and other community organizations with an interest in education, may attend meetings as non-voting guests of the District 43 Parent Advisory Council.
- Honorary Members may be appointed at the discretion of the DPAC Executive but appointments must be ratified by the voting membership. Honorary Members do not have a right to vote.
- At no time shall the Council have more non-voting members than voting members.
Section 2. Members in Good Standing
A member who acts in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws and has paid their current annual membership fee (if one has been proscribed) is considered a member in good standing.
Section 3. Termination of Membership
- A member shall cease to be a member of the DPAC:
- by delivering a resignation in writing to the Executive or by mailing or delivering it to the address of the Council;
- by dissolution of the member association; or
- on being expelled.
- A member or their representative may be expelled for the remainder of the school year for failing to uphold the DPAC Constitution, the Bylaws, and/or the DPAC Code of Ethics.
- A member may be expelled by a special resolution (as detailed in Bylaw Article II Section 6.2) of the members, passed at a General meeting.
- The notice of special resolution for expulsion must be accompanied by a brief statement of the reasons for the proposed expulsion.
- The member PAC, or their representative, who is the subject of the proposed resolution for expulsion must be given an opportunity to be heard at the General meeting before the special resolution is put to a vote.
Article II Meetings
- Meetings will be conducted efficiently and with fairness to the members present.
- While attending meetings, member representatives and guests are expected to adhere to the DPAC Code of Ethics or, at the discretion of the Chair, they will be asked to leave.
- If procedural problems arise on an issue not covered in these Bylaws, the most recent edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised” shall be used to resolve the issue.
- Notice of meetings shall be forwarded to members as follows: Annual General Meeting, four (4) weeks; General Meetings, two (2) weeks; Special Meeting, one (1) week.
Section 1. Annual General Meeting
The last General meeting of the fiscal year shall be known as the Annual General
Meeting. The purpose of this meeting shall be to:
- receive the Report of the Executive;
- receive year-to-date financial statements;
- receive other reports and statements;
- elect Executive officers
- conduct other business of the Council as needed.
Section 2. General Meetings
- The Executive, when it sees fit, shall convene a General meeting, not less than
five (5) times per year.
- A meeting shall not be the forum for the discussion of individual school personnel, students, parents or other individual members of the school community.
- Business conducted at a General meeting may include:
- consideration of financial statements;
- reports of the Executive;
- other business, that under these bylaws, ought to be transacted at a General meeting, or business that is brought under consideration by the report of the Executive issued with the notice convening the meeting.
- A presentation of the annual financial statements for the preceding fiscal year and a budget for the current fiscal year must be presented at the first General meeting of the fiscal year. The budget must be adopted by the current membership.
Section 3. Special General Meetings
Special General meetings may be called at the request of the Executive or at the written request of 20% or more of the voting members. The purpose of the meeting shall be set out in the notice of meeting to members. Notice must be sent out one (1) week in advance, except in cases of emergency.
Section 4. Executive Meetings
- Meetings of the Executive called by the President or requested in writing by a majority of the Executive shall be held no less than five times year.
- The Executive may meet together to conduct business and may regulate their meetings and proceedings as they see fit.
- Executive meetings may be held anytime or place as deemed necessary. The purpose of Executive meetings is to conduct business between General meetings.
Section 5. Quorum
- For the purposes of determining policy, amending bylaws or any other part of the constitution, adopting a budget, or electing officers, or for the purposes of a special meeting, a quorum is required consisting of duly recognized voting members registered at the meeting but never less than twenty percent (20%) or the total voting membership.
- A quorum for a General Meeting shall be the number of voting members present.
- For the purposes of Executive meetings and resolutions of the Executive, a quorum shall be the majority of voting positions filled on the Executive.
Section 6. Resolutions
- An ordinary resolution means:
- a resolution passed by a majority of the votes cast by those members of DPAC who, being entitled to do so, vote in person at a General meeting of DPAC.
- a resolution that has been submitted to the members and consented to in writing by 75% of the members who would have been entitled to vote on it in person at a General meeting, and a resolution so consented to is deemed to be an ordinary resolution passed at a General meeting of DPAC.
- A special resolution means:
- a resolution passed by not less than 75% of the votes cast by those members of DPAC who, being entitled to do so, vote in person at a General meeting of DPAC.
- for the purposes of the General meeting referred to in part (a), not less than 14 days’ written notice must be given to the members specifying the intention to propose the resolution as a special resolution.
- a resolution that has been submitted to the members and consented to in writing by every member who would have been entitled to vote on it in person at a General meeting, and a resolution so consented to is deemed to be a special resolution passed at a General meeting of DPAC.
- Resolutions to DPAC:
- resolutions must reflect the intention of the member PAC and shall be deemed ordinary resolutions unless otherwise dictated in these Bylaws.
- resolutions must be submitted to DPAC in the approved format not less than 21 days prior to the next General meeting date (see Policy #104). Resolutions must relate to public education and must comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the School Act, the Society Act and the DPAC Constitution. The DPAC Executive shall ensure that the resolution meets all necessary criteria as per above. In addition, a copy of the PAC minutes outlining the resolution and its approval shall be submitted.
- a ‘notice of motion’ will be forwarded to all member PACs in the next DPAC General meeting package (typically issued two weeks prior to a General meeting).
Section 7. Voting
- Each voting member PAC has one vote, regardless of the number of representatives in attendance on behalf of the PAC.
- Unless otherwise provided, questions arising at any meeting shall be decided by a majority vote. In the case of a tie vote, the motion is defeated.
- Voting shall be done by a show of hands, with the exception of the election or removal of officers and the expulsion of a member association, which must be done by secret ballot. Voting on certain issues, if requested by a member or the Executive, shall also require a secret ballot. A vote shall be taken to destroy the ballots after voting is completed.
- Proxy voting shall not be permitted at any meetings.
Article III Election of Executive Officers
Section 1. Eligibility
- The Executive officers shall be elected from the School District 43 parents at the Annual General Meeting. No current employee of School District 43 Coquitlam shall hold an Executive position.
Section 2. Nominations
- Two months before each Annual General Meeting, the general members shall appoint a Nominating Committee Chairperson and at least one more committee member. The President may not be a member of this committee.
- The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall not be eligible for election.
- This committee shall send nomination and disclosure forms (as per Policy #106) to each member; from these forms, which shall be returned at least two (2) weeks before the Annual General Meeting, the committee shall prepare a list of candidates who have signified their willingness, in writing, to stand for election.
- Nominations shall be called for and may be made from the floor at the Annual General Meeting provided the candidate submits to the Secretary, written intent and completed nomination and disclosure forms (as per Policy #106).
Section 3. Procedure of Elections
- The Executive officers shall be elected by the voting membership at the Annual General Meeting
- The Chairperson of the Nominating Committee shall conduct elections.
- Each candidate shall disclose to the membership, before election, the particulars required by Policy #106 regarding experience, qualifications, and educational affiliations.
- In the event that only one candidate is standing for election to an office, the rule of the secret ballot shall continue to apply.
- Newly elected members shall be installed at the end of the fiscal year.
Article IV Executive Officers
- Vice President
And as many other Executive positions as required as listed below:
- Newsletter Editor
- Parent Education Coordinator
- Health and Safety Coordinator
- Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Communications Liaison
- Member(s)-at-Large (maximum of four)
- Immediate Past President
Article V Duties of the Executive Officers
- The affairs of the Council shall be managed by a board of elected officers and the immediate Past President (who has served a full term during the immediate preceding year as President.
- The elected Executive shall consult with, take direction from, and represent all PACs in the District. The Executive shall work as a team to ensure DPAC purposes are achieved.
- All officers are expected to attend all Executive, General, and Special meetings; to be familiar with the Constitution, Bylaws, Policies and Procedures of the Council; to carry out their duties as described; and to follow the DPAC Code of Ethics (Bylaw Article XII).
- If an Executive member is unable to attend, they should inform the Administrative Assistant prior to the meeting.
- All officers are expected to maintain & update their portfolio binders.
Section 1. President
Section 1. President
- preside at all General and Executive meetings of the Council and of the Executive and shall ensure that an agenda is prepared and presented;
- be a member, ex officio, of all committees except the Nominating Committee;
- be a signing authority on behalf of the Council;
- present a report, approved by the Executive, of the year’s proceedings, at the
Annual General Meeting;
- be the only Executive member to approach and respond to the media and issue press releases on behalf of DPAC. She/he may appoint a designate when necessary, but will be accountable to the Executive on opinions expressed on behalf of the organization;
- be responsible for the hiring and supervision of office staff, if required;
- facilitate an orientation/retreat once a year for all continuing and new Executive members.
Section 2. Vice President
- assume the responsibilities of the President, as per Bylaw Article V Section 1, in the President’s absence or upon request;
- assist the President in the performance of his/her duties;
- may be a signing authority on behalf of the Council;
- ensure that a Nominating Committee is struck annually as per Bylaw Article III Section 2;
- organize volunteers on internal and external committees;
Section 3. Secretary
- in the event the secretary position remains vacant all these duties, with the exception of having signing authority, shall be fulfilled by the administrative assistant;
- keep full and accurate minutes of all meetings of the Council and of the Executive and provide same to the Executive and membership on a timely basis;
- may be a signing authority on behalf of the Council;
- keep an accurate and up-to-date copy of the Constitution, Bylaws, Policies & Procedures and DPAC Code of Ethics, and distribute these documents to all external and internal committee members as well as have copies available for any member PAC upon request;
- issue and receive correspondence on behalf of the organization;
- safely keep all records of the Council;
- be responsible for notification of members regarding a proposed expulsion;
- shall complete and file any Society Act forms or documents as required.
Section 4. Treasurer
- receive, collect, and deposit in a bank or financial establishment, registered under the Bank Act and approved by the Executive, all funds of the Council;
- keep an accurate, up-to-date, record of all receipts and expenditures and report regularly at Executive and General meetings;
- prepare and present financial statements for General meetings;
- ensure another financial signing officer has access to the books in case of her/ his absence;
- pay, by cheque, all bills and accounts which have been approved by the Council or Executive;
- be a signing authority on behalf of the Council;
- make all arrangements for the year-end financial statements review;
- present a reviewed annual report and budget for the ensuing year at the first General meeting of the fiscal year.
Section 5. Newsletter Editor
- prepare and distribute newsletters/bulletins to PACs as directed by the Executive.
Section 6. Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Communications Liaison
- be responsible for maintaining the lines of communication between PACs and DPAC;
- be responsible for: greeting and signing-in PACs at the door of General meetings; monthly communication regarding meetings, speakers, and zone specific information; any other communication required as approved by the
- assist in updating & maintaining the PAC contact lists
- be responsible for any communication required, with help when needed, as approved by the President.
Section 7. Parent Education Coordinator
- co-ordinate speakers for DPAC meetings and arrange information sessions/workshops for parent education activities;
- inform members at General meetings of any speakers, workshops, or conferences which may be of interest to PACs or parents;
- maintain a complete record of speakers, their topics, handouts and associated costs.
Section 8. Health and Safety Coordinator
- monitor PAC concerns and student safety issues such as traffic, emergency preparedness, first aid coverage, and field trip safety within District 43;
- establish and co-ordinate activities of parent safety committees for safety or health enhancement projects within the District;
- liaise with municipal governments, local police, ICBC, and the Fraser Health Authority, as necessary;
- liaise with District staff and/or partner groups as required and participate in any relevant District committees;
- support PAC initiatives, as required, in the areas of health and safety.
Section 9. Member(s)-at-Large
No more than four members-at-large shall serve on the Executive during one term.
- be responsible for duties assigned by the Executive.
Section 10. Immediate Past President
- be an ex-officio member of the Executive, entitled to receive notice of, attend and speak at, but not vote at, Executive meetings;
- help smooth the transition between Presidents;
- assist, advise and support the Council;
- provide information about resources, contacts, and other essential information to the Council;
- act as a consultant to the President.
Article VI - Executive Terms of Office
Section 1. Terms of Office
- The Executive shall be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting.
- All terms of office for members of the Executive, with the exception of the President, shall be one (1) year or until a successor is elected; the term covers the twelve (12) month period from July 1st to June 30th.
- The term of office for the position of President is for two (2) years.
- The term of office for the position of Immediate Past President is for one (1) year to aid in transition.
Section 2. Limitations
- No member of the Executive shall be elected to more than one office at any one time, unless their nomination is approved by a majority vote of the membership present at a General meeting, attended by at least 20% of the membership.
- In the event that DPAC cannot fill all Executive positions, a position may be appended to another position after discussion and agreement by the majority of the membership.
- Any position may be co-chaired or shared with the agreement of the two (2) parties and with the understanding that the two people share one (1) vote.
- No person may hold the same office for more than two (2) consecutive terms without a 75% vote at a General meeting attended by at least 20% of the membership. For the purposes of determining eligibility to continue in office, an officer who has served more than half a term since elected is considered to have served a full term in the position.
- Every position must come up for election at the end of its term.
- A member may be permitted to stand for re-election to a position beyond the designated period allowable, by a 75% vote at a General meeting attended by at least 20% of the membership. This stands for all positions, except for the President, who is only up for re-election after 2 years with a maximum of 2 terms served (4 years). Should the vote not meet the required percentage and no new candidate steps forward; then the position is left vacant.
Article VII - Committees
Section 1. Internal Committees (established by the DPAC Executive)
- The Executive may delegate any, but not all, of their powers to internal committees that may consist of Executive members, representatives of their member PACs, or honorary members to undertake specific responsibilities.
- The committee members shall attend regularly and participate fully at committee meetings and any other related activities that the committee holds.
- An internal committee shall conform to any rules imposed on it by the Executive and members shall conform to the DPAC Code of Ethics. The committee shall promptly report to the Executive on their activities (as per Policy #103).
- The terms of reference and privileges of each internal committee shall be specified in writing by the Executive at the time it is established.
- The Executive may appoint the chairperson. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the committee’s procedure.
Section 2. External Committees (established by an outside organization)
- The Executive shall select representatives to sit on external committees or in liaison positions to external organizations. When choosing whether to participate on an external committee, the Executive shall be guided by the DPAC purpose, aims, and objectives as per Article II of the Constitution.
- The committee members shall attend regularly and participate fully at committee meetings and any other related activities that the committee holds.
- Persons so selected shall conform to any directions or instructions imposed upon them; shall conform to the DPAC Code of Ethics; and shall promptly report to the Executive on their activities (as per Policy #103).
- Representatives shall endeavour to represent views of DPAC rather than their own opinion.
Article VIII - Proceedings of the Executive
Section 1. Grounds for Removal
The following are grounds for termination of the office of any Executive member:
- is neglectful of the duties of their position;
- is absent from three consecutive Executive meetings without valid reason;
- is convicted of a criminal offence or other serious offence;
- for failure to observe the Constitution and Bylaws, purposes, or policies of DPAC or failure to abide by the DPAC Code of Ethics.
Section 2. Removal of Executive Member
An Executive member may be removed from office by special resolution (as detailed in Bylaw Article II Section 6.2) and another may be elected to serve during the balance of the term.
Section 3. Vacancies
When a vacancy exists in the Executive for any reason, an eligible member of the School District 43 parent body may be appointed by the Executive to fill the vacancy until an election can be held for the position. For interim elections standard nominating and voting procedures shall apply.
Section 4. Remuneration
The members on the Executive shall be reimbursed for all approved expenses necessarily and reasonably incurred by them while engaged in the affairs of the Council, within the limitations of the approved annual budget. (see Policy #107)
Section 5. Liability of Executive Members
Except for such costs, charges or expenses are occasioned by his/her own wilful neglect or default, each Executive member of the Council shall be indemnified and saved harmless out of the funds of the Council from and against all expenses incurred or lawsuits brought against him or her in his/her capacity as an Executive
member of the Council.
Article IX - Finances
Section 1. Fiscal Year & Records
- The fiscal year of the Council shall be set as the twelve-month period from 01 July to 30 June.
- All financial records are the legal property of the DPAC and must be kept for a minimum period of seven years and turned over to the Executive on demand.
Section 2. Fees
Fees (if required) shall be set out in the budget that is presented to the membership for adoption at the first General meeting of each fiscal year.
Section 3. Signing Authority and Banking
- There shall be three signing officers for banking and legal documents. This shall be the DPAC President, the Treasurer and one of the following: Vice President, Secretary, or other agreed upon executive position. Two (2) signatures will be required on all of these documents.
- All funds of the organization will be on deposit in a bank or financial establishment registered under the Bank Act in an appropriate account or accounts for District 43 Parent Advisory Council.
- All money paid out from the DPAC will be as a cheque on receipt of a detailed invoice or receipt. Signing officers must never sign a cheque where the payee is left blank. All issued cheques must bear the signatures of two of the three authorized signatories.
Section 4. Budget & Expenditures
- A proposed budget should be drawn up by the Treasurer / Executive and presented for approval by the membership at the first General meeting of the fiscal year.
- The general membership must approve all expenditures by Executive or Committee Members over their budget. Preferably this should occur at a General meeting if one is held prior to that expenditure being made. If this is not possible, the Executive can approve an expense up to 10% of the budgeted amount. DPAC is not obligated to reimburse individuals who exceed these guidelines without prior approval.
- The Executive shall have the authority to pay accounts as approved in the annual budget, with discretion to pay additional accounts not within the budget up to the amount of $500.00.
Section 5. Treasurer’s Reports
The Treasurer will submit:
- a written financial report (including an Income & Expense Statement and a Balance Sheet) at each General meeting;
- reviewed Annual Statements at the first General meeting after the end of the DPAC’s fiscal year (June 30th).
Section 6. Financial Reviews
- The bank statements and related cheques are to be independently reviewed by the DPAC President or his/her designate, on a monthly basis.
- A review of the accounts must be done at the end of each fiscal year and before the first General meeting of the ensuing fiscal year. A review is also mandatory at a change of Treasurer. A review, for this purpose, refers to an independent review and verification of all records during the period under consideration, e.g. budget year.
- The reviewer shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting and shall not be a member of the Executive.
- The reviewer’s report shall be presented at the first General meeting of the ensuing fiscal year.
Article X - Powers, Property, Amendments Dissolution
Section 1. Powers
- The Executive shall carry out policies and initiatives approved by the general membership. They may transact routine and emergent business where time constraints negate the possibility of consultation with the general membership. Where such action has been taken, it must clearly be represented as an Executive action. The Executive may make suggestions and recommendations to the general membership.
- All books of accounts, records and minutes of the Council, other than minutes on in-camera proceedings of the Executive (see Policy #105), shall be open for inspection by any voting member at any reasonable time and upon reasonable notice to the Secretary.
Section 2. Property in Documents
All documents, records, minutes, correspondence or other paper kept by a member, Executive member, or Committee member in connection with the organization shall be deemed to be property of the organization, and shall be turned over to the President when the member, Executive member, or Committee member ceases to perform the task to which the papers relate.
Section 3. Constitutional, Bylaw, Policy & Procedure Amendments
- The Constitution and these Bylaws may not be rescinded, altered or added to except by special resolution. When proposing amendments, consideration must be given to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the School Act, and the Society Act. Notice of Special Resolutions for this purpose will be provided to the membership at last twenty eight (28) days prior to the meeting at which
they are to be considered.
- DPAC Policies & Procedures may be amended by the DPAC Executive at an Executive meeting attended by not less than 75% of the Executive. Modifications must then be agreed to by a 75% vote of the Executive and then approved by a majority vote of the membership.
- On being admitted to membership, each voting member association is entitled to, and the Council shall give each member, without charge, a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws and Policies & Procedures of the Council.
Section 4. Dissolution
- In the event of wind-up or dissolution of the Council, following payment of all outstanding liabilities, the Council shall transfer all of its property and assets to another organization having similar objectives or purposes which will be decided by the members at the final General meeting with consideration given to member Parent Advisory Councils or the British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.
- In the event of dissolution of the Council, all records of the organization shall be placed under the jurisdiction of the British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.
Article XI - Rules of Order
Article XII - DPAC Code of Ethics
A parent who is elected or appointed as a DPAC representative:
- upholds the Constitution and Bylaws, policies and procedures of the DPAC
- works to ensure that the well being of students is the primary focus of all decisions
- performs duties with honesty and integrity and meets agreed upon deadlines on projects
- respects the rights of all individuals
- consults with and takes direction from their PAC, ensuring that representation processes are in place
- encourages and supports parents and students with individual concerns to act on their own behalf and provides information on the process for taking concerns forward
- works to ensure that issues are resolved through the appropriate process
- strives to be informed and only passes on information that is reliable and correct
- respects all confidential information
- supports public education.
In addition, a parent who is elected or appointed as a DPAC Executive member:
- is to work cooperatively to fulfil the goals of DPAC
- seeks to represent the parent perspective to all the groups in education, working to ensure that the well being of students is the primary focus of all decisions
- is a part of a team that is effective only when it acts as a unit. The Executive member is committed to the team and is open and honest with other Executive members
- supports Executive decisions in spite of personal concerns or reservations. Resolutions of the Executive are the most authoritative decisions of the Council between General meetings. They represent the collective decision making of the team
- expresses concerns about proposed actions while they are under consideration, so that these may be taken into account before a decision is made. (The different perspective of a single person may help the Executive realize that a resolution may have undesirable consequences that had not been anticipated)
- volunteers for or is appointed to committees based on his/her abilities to best serve the needs of DPAC
- speaks and acts towards other members with respect and dignity, mindful of other members’ rights and sensibilities
- is willing to review his/her work with other Executive members and the general membership
- directs any criticism of the action of other Executive members to that member first, and then if necessary, after informing that Executive member, may direct the criticism in confidence to the President
- shares all information relevant to DPAC business at the Executive table
- is in a privileged position and when approached by a parent with a concern, should treat such discussion with discretion, respecting the confidentiality of the people involved.