03/13/2012 11:50 EDT | Updated 05/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Lester B. Pearson anti-nepotism school staff policy confuses some

A draft policy that forbids relatives from working at the same school has left some staff members at Lester B. Pearson School Board scrambling to adjust.

The draft policy bans married and common-law couples and relatives from getting jobs at the same school.

The West Island school board describes the policy as an initiative to fight nepotism — that is, preferential treatment on the basis of family relationship.

The policy is scheduled to take effect in June.

Janice Bowen, a Gr. 10 and 11 math teacher, says she doesn't see any conflict of interest in working at the same school as her fiancé.

"Honestly, we don't work in the same parts of the building, we don't teach any of the same students," said Bowen, who teaches at John Rennie High School in Pointe Claire.

"I might see him in the hall, but again, once we're in those buildings, we're professional."

Bowen said she and her fiancé were planning on getting married in the summer, but now they are rushing to plan an earlier wedding, in April, to beat the policy's implementation.

The school board said the policy was needed to address specific complaints of nepotism.