File: BEDH

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS

All regular and special meetings of the School Committee shall be open to the public. Executive sessions will be held only as prescribed by the Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The School Committee desires citizens of the District to attend its meetings so that they may become better acquainted with the operations and the programs of our local public schools.  In addition, the Committee would like the opportunity to hear the wishes and ideas of the public.

In order that all citizens who wish to be heard before the Committee have a chance and to ensure the ability of the Committee to conduct the District's business in an orderly manner, the following rules and procedures are adopted:

  1. At each regularly scheduled School Committee meeting, under "Public Comments" the public is invited to address the Committee.  The Chairperson shall determine the length of the public participation segment.
  2. Speakers will be allowed three (3) minutes to present their material.  The presiding Chairperson may permit extension of this time limit.
  3. Topics for discussion must be limited to those items listed on the School Committee meeting agenda for that evening.
  4. Improper conduct and remarks will not be allowed.  Defamatory or abusive remarks are always out of order.  If a speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks, the Chairperson may terminate that individual’s privilege of address.
  5. All remarks will be addressed through the Chairperson of the meeting.
  6. Speakers may offer such objective criticisms of the school operations and programs as concern them, but in public session the Committee will not hear personal complaints of school personnel nor against any member of the school community.  Under most circumstances, administrative channels are the proper means for disposition of legitimate complaints involving staff members.
  7. Written comments longer than three (3) minutes may be presented to the Committee before or after the meeting for the Committee members' review and consideration at an appropriate time.

SOURCE:  MASC June 2017

LEGAL REF:  M.G.L. c. 30A:20f*


NOTE – The following statement may be cited prior to the “Public Comments” portion of any School Committee meeting:

 

*“No person shall address a meeting of a public body without permission of the chair, and all persons shall, at the request of the chair, be silent.  No person shall disrupt the proceedings of a meeting of a public body.  If, after clear warning from the chair, a person continues to disrupt the proceedings, the chair may order the person to withdraw from the meeting and if the person does not withdraw, the chair may authorize a constable or other officer to remove the person from the meeting.”


Read and reviewed: November 20, 2017 [Policy Subcommittee]
Approved:  November 28, 2017 [School Committee]