Public Participation at Board Meetings – Policy BEDH-R
The board encourages citizens of the district to attend its sessions to that they may become better acquainted with the operation and programs of the schools, and the board may have opportunity to hear the wishes and ideas of the public.
In order to assure that all persons wishing to make information presentations before the board may be heard, time will be set aside by the board prior to the beginning of the official meeting to allow members of the public to address the board on matters of their concern. If necessary, based on the number of people wishing to speak and the number of topics to be addressed, the board has the discretion to limit the time allocated to each speaker. The board will receive such matters as items of interest and will take no formal action of these matters, nor will it participate in a debate concerning these matters. If matters discussed related to items on the board agenda, the agenda items may be postponed. Persons speaking to the board are expected to follow the guidelines specified in items listed below.
In order to assure that all persons wishing to make formal presentations before the board may be heard and, at the same time, conduct its meeting properly and efficiently, the board has adopted as policy the following procedures and rules pertaining to public participation in board meetings.
• Anyone wishing to speak before the board, representing either him/herself or a group, should inform the superintendent of his/her desire to do so and his/her topic as early as possible, but at least three days before the meeting. This will permit orderly scheduling of his/her remarks on the meeting agenda.
• Others who come to a meeting wishing to speak will be allowed to do so only at times specified for public comments on the agenda and then only with special permission of the board.
• Any individual desiring to speak is requested to use the lectern and microphone provided for the speaker’s convenience and to give his/her name, address and the group, if any, that he/she is representing.
• The individual’s presentation should be as brief as possible, yet include all information considered important by the speaker. Unless an extension of time is granted, each speaker will limit him/herself to five minutes.
• If one spokesman has presented a matter, it is not necessary for others to repeat the same ideas, but anyone may speak who has something to add that is pertinent. Others speaking on the same subject will usually be limited to one minute each.
• Questions, suggestions, proposals or criticisms which have been presented verbally should also be submitted in writing and signed by the individual or the spokesman of the group appearing before the board.
• Persons appearing before the board are reminded, as a point of information, that members of the board are without authority to act independently as individuals in official matters; thus, questions may be directed to the board, but answers must be deferred pending consideration by the board.
• Speakers may offer such objective criticisms of school operations and programs as concerns them. But in public session, the board will not hear personal complaints of school personnel nor complaints against the person connected with the school system. Other channels have been established by the board for the consideration and disposition of legitimate complaints involving individuals.
• Neither profane or vulgar language nor personal abuse against any person will be permitted.
The board vests in its chairman of other presiding officer authority to terminate the remarks of any individual when he/she does not adhere to the rules established above. At any time, the board may adjourn the meeting or the chairman may recess the meeting and call the board into executive session.
Issued 9/28/92; Revised 6/28/10