Public Participation at Board Meetings

Policy #3220*

The Board of Education encourages public participation on school related matters at Board meetings, as outlined in this policy. To allow for public participation, a period not to exceed 30 minutes shall be set aside during the first part of each Board meeting for public comment, with priority given to comments on items on the meeting’s agenda. This period may be extended by a majority vote of the Board.

Persons wishing to address the Board shall advise the District Clerk prior to the scheduled starting time of the meeting. The request shall be made in writing on a form provided by the district and shall include the name of the speaker, the address, telephone number, name of organization represented (if any), and a brief description of the topic to be addressed. Any group or organization wishing to address the Board must identify a single spokesperson.

Presentation should be as brief as possible. No speaker will be permitted to speak for longer than three minutes. Speakers may comment on any matter related to district business.

The Board will not permit in public session discussion involving individual district personnel or students. Persons wishing to discuss matters involving individual district personnel or students should present their comments and/or concerns to the Superintendent during regular business hours.

All speakers are to conduct themselves in a civil manner. Obscene language, libelous statements, threats of violence, statements advocating racial, religious, or other forms of prejudice will not be tolerated.

Persons making presentations at a Board meeting will address remarks to the President and may direct questions or comments to Board members or other district officials only upon the approval of the President. Board members and the Superintendent shall have the privilege of asking questions of any person who addresses the Board.

Questions and comments from the public concerning matters which are not on the agenda will be taken under consideration and referred to the Superintendent for appropriate action.

The President shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and shall rule on such matters as the time to be allowed for public discussion and the appropriateness of the subject being presented, as outlined in this policy and applicable provisions of law and regulation, and subject to the Board’s parliamentary procedure. The President shall have the right to discontinue any presentation which violates this policy.

*Please also refer to Policy #2350 “Board of Education Meetings” for more information.

Ref: Matter of Martin, 32 EDR 381 (1992)

Appeal of Wittneben, 31 EDR 375 (1992) Matter of Kramer, 72 EDR 114 (1951) NYS Department of State, Committee on Open Government, OML-AO-#2696 (Jan. 8, 1997), OML-AO-#2717 (Feb. 27, 1997), OML-AO-#4292 (Dec. 6, 2006)