BEDH Participation at Board Meetings

                                                                                                                                                                                    Code:  BEDH

                                                                                                                               PARTICIPATION AT BOARD MEETINGS          

All regular, special, and emergency meetings of the Board of Trustees are open to the public.

Because the Board desires to hear the viewpoints of citizens throughout the district, it shall provide time at all meetings for citizens to be heard.

Board meetings are conducted for the purpose of carrying out the official business of the school district.  The meetings are not public forum meetings, but are meetings held in public. All meetings, except executive sessions, will be open public meetings.  Orderly conduct of meetings does not permit spontaneous discussion from the audience.  Individuals or organizations desiring to make requests, presentations or proposals to the Board will be provided that opportunity.

Citizens wishing to have an item placed on the agenda for a specific board meeting, should direct their request to the superintendent or board chairperson.  A request to have an item placed on the agenda should be made seven days prior to the scheduled meeting of the Board.  The superintendent and the board chairperson will confer and determine the appropriate placement of the item on the agenda.

Speakers may be scheduled to address subjects which are included on the agenda.

Recognizing its responsibility for proper governance of the schools, and, therefore, the need to conduct its business in an orderly and efficient manner, the Board shall schedule a period during each meeting for public participation.  At times, it shall set a time limit on the length of this period or a time limit for individual speakers.

Speakers will be recognized by the chairperson of the board and may make objective comments on school operations and programs.  The Board will not permit, in public session, any expression of personal complaint about school personnel nor against any person connected with the school system.  Personnel matters are not appropriate topics to be discussed at regular board meetings.  Decorum requires that such matters be entertained in executive session as arranged by the Board.  Speakers will not be permitted to participate in gossip, make defamatory remarks, use abusive or vulgar language.  Speakers will be advised that their comments must be limited to items which relate directly to the school district.  The board chairperson will maintain the prerogative to discontinue any presentation which violates any of the public participation guidelines.

A single spokesperson should be selected by groups or organizations desiring to address the Board on an agenda topic in order to avoid presenting repetitious information.

The board chairperson shall be responsible for recognizing all speakers, who shall properly identify themselves; for maintaining proper order; and for adherence to any time limit set.  Questions asked by the public shall, when possible, be answered immediately by the chairperson or referred to staff members present for reply; questions requiring investigation shall be referred to the Board or administrative staff for consideration and later response.

Members of the public will not be recognized by the chairperson as the Board conducts its official business except when the Board schedules, in advance, an interim public discussion period on a particular agenda item.

The intent of this policy is to allow a fair and adequate opportunity to be heard, to allow the superintendent to take action when policies have been established by the Board on the subject of the request, to provide adequate time for the Board to obtain necessary information concerning the subject, and to see that time devoted to the discussion does not interfere with the fulfillment of the Board's scheduled agenda.

Adoption Date: 11/19/80

Amended: 4/17/14