The Board of Education recognizes the value of 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. In order to permit the fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board has adopted Policy 2370, Public Participation at Board Meetings. While the Board is eager to listen to its constituents, in accordance with District policy, an attempt should be made to resolve issues at the appropriate level before coming to the Board.
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2370 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT BOARD MEETINGS
The Board of Education recognizes the value of 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.
In order to permit the fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board shall provide a citizen comment period at every public meeting of the Board. There will be a citizen comment period at the beginning of the meeting and, if needed, a second comment period will be at the end of the meeting, as indicated on the agenda. The initial comment period is limited to 30 minutes. During the initial comment period, those persons wishing to speak regarding agenda items will be heard first, if time permits, comments on non-agenda items will be heard until the 30 minutes time limit is reached. If due to the 30-minute time limit, there are any residents not able to speak during the first comment period they will be afforded an opportunity to speak at the comment period at the end of the meeting. The second comment period will only occur if there is insufficient time during the first comment period to hear all those wishing to speak. Residents shall only be allowed to speak once per meeting.
The following rules shall govern such public participation and shall be administered by the presiding officer, whose decision may be overruled by a majority of the Board:
- Public participation shall be permitted as indicated on the order of business in the Bylaws of this Board or by majority consent of the Board upon a motion to suspend the rules of order.
- Any group or organization wishing to address the Board must identify a single spokesperson.
- No employee of the district may address the Board at a public meeting on an employment-related matter which may be otherwise remedied by resort to communication with a supervisor or administrator and/or pursuant to Board policy and/or Collective Bargaining Procedures and/or general employment or contractual grievance procedure. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to restrict the rights of District employees to speak at public Board meetings on matters of public concern.
- Neither the Board nor Superintendent will enter into a debate or discussion with any person while they remain at the microphone. At the discretion of the presiding officer, the Board or Superintendent may respond to comments made by members of the public after they have returned to their seat.
- The Board will not permit in public session discussions involving individual district personnel. Persons wishing to discuss matters involving individual district personnel should present their comments and/or concerns to the Superintendent during regular business hours or to the Board in writing. The fact that there is no public discussion regarding individual district personnel is not an indication that the Board is not involved or doesn't care about an issue. The Superintendent and staff will keep the Board apprised of all personnel-related matters.
- The Board will not permit in public session discussion involving matters made confidential by law including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Persons wishing to discuss matters made confidential by law should present their comments and/or concerns to the Superintendent during regular business hours or to the Board in writing.
- Participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address, and group affiliation, if appropriate.
- Statements made by a participant shall be limited to three minutes duration and each speaker to one appearance per meeting.
- All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no participant may address or question Board members individually.
- All speakers are to conduct themselves in a civil manner. Obscene language, libelous statements, threats of violence, statements advocating illegal acts, or unlawful discrimination will not be tolerated.
- The presiding officer may call a point of order and interrupt, warn, or terminate a participant's statement when the statement is too lengthy, is materially disruptive to orderly conduct of the meeting or is in violation of District Policy.
Revised: November 28, 2007
Revised: February 2014
Revised: April 22, 2014
Revised: September 3, 2014