File: BHE

As elected public officials, School Committee members shall exercise caution when communicating
between and among themselves via electronic messaging services including, but not limited to,
electronic mail (e-mail), text messaging, social media postings, internet web forums, and internet chat rooms.

Under the Open Meeting Law, deliberation by a quorum of members constitutes a meeting. Deliberation is defined as movement toward a decision including, but not limited to, the sharing of an opinion regarding business over which the Committee has supervision, control, or jurisdiction. A quorum may be arrived at sequentially using electronic messaging without knowledge and intent by the author.

School Committee members should use electronic messaging between and among members only for
housekeeping purposes such as requesting or communicating agenda items, meeting times, or meeting
dates. Electronic messaging should not be used to discuss Committee matters that require public
discussion under the Open Meeting Law.

Under the Public Records Law, electronic messages between public officials may be considered public records. Therefore, in order to ensure compliance, the School Committee Chairperson, in consultation with the Superintendent of Schools, shall annually designate a member of the central office staff who shall be copied on all electronic mail correspondence between and among members of the School Committee, or the district shall provide district e-mail addresses, which are archived. School Committee members who do not have a computer or access to these messages shall be provided copies on a timely basis.

SOURCE:   MASC June 2017
LEGAL REF.: M.G.L.4:7; 30A:18-25; 23B; 66:10

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