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Public Participation at Board Meetings

Board Policy 0169.1: Public Participation At Board Meetings

The Board of Education recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest.  The Board offers public participation to members of the public in accordance with the procedures below. The Board applies these procedures to all speakers and does not discriminate based on the identity of the speaker, content of the speech, or viewpoint of the speaker.

The Board is also committed to conducting its meetings in a productive and efficient manner that assures that the regular agenda of the Board is completed in a reasonable period of time, honors the voluntary nature of the Board's time and using that time efficiently, and allows for a fair and adequate opportunity for input to be considered. Consequently, public participation at Board meetings will be governed by the following principle:

A. Those wishing to address the Board must have submitted a completed "Public Participation" form to the Treasurer no later than the beginning of the meeting.

B. In order to permit the fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board shall provide a period for public participation at every regular meeting of the Board, and at those public meetings of the Board during which action may be taken. The Board shall also publish rules to govern such participation in Board meetings.

The presiding officer shall be guided by the following rules:

A. Public participation shall be permitted:

  1. as indicated on the order of business;
     
  2. before the Board takes official action on any issue of substance;
     
  3. at the discretion of the presiding officer.

B. Anyone having a legitimate interest in the actions of the Board may participate during the public portion of a meeting.

C. Attendees must register their intention to participate in the public portion of the meeting prior to the start of the meeting.

D. Participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and will be requested to preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address, and group affiliation, if and when appropriate

E. Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to five (5) minutes duration unless extended by the presiding officer.

F. All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no person may address or question Board members individually.

G. Audio or video recordings are permitted, providing the person operating the recorder has received approval from the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting and agrees to the placement of the equipment and to abide by the following conditions

  1. No obstructions are created between the Board and the audience. 
     
  2. No interviews are conducted in the meeting room while the Board is in session. 
     
  3. No commentary, adjustment of equipment, or positioning of operators is made that would distract either the Board or members of the audience while the Board is in session and not disrupt the meeting.

H. The presiding officer may:

  1. prohibit public comments that are frivolous, repetitive, and/or harassing;
     
  2. interrupt, warn, or terminate a participant's statement when the statement is too lengthy, abusive, off-topic, obscene, or irrelevant; 
     
  3. request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum  or is disruptive to the conduct of the meeting; 
     
  4. request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person's conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting; 
     
  5. call for a recess or an adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action.

I. The portion of the meeting during which the participation of the public is invited shall be limited to thirty (30) minutes unless extended by a vote of the Board.

Last Revised 11/20/18

Please Note: Public participation at board meetings is intended to allow individual members of the public to address the Board on issues of public concern, and not intended as a forum for extended conversation or two-way dialogue with the Board members or District officials. The Board President, Superintendent or designee may respond to questions either at the end of the session, or at a later time.