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Policies » Section B: School Board Governance & Operations » BEDH: Public Participation At Board Meetings

Policy Date: 12/11/2018

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The School Board encourages citizens of the District to attend its sessions so that they may become better acquainted with the operation and programs of the schools and so that the Board may have an opportunity to hear the wishes and ideas of the public. All official meetings of the Board shall be open to the press and public. However, the Board reserves the right to meet and to adjourn or recess a meeting at any time to discuss such matters as are properly considered in non-public session in accordance with RSA 91-A:3.

In order to assure that persons who wish to appear before the Board may be heard and, at the same time, it may conduct its meetings properly and efficiently, the Board adopts as policy the following procedures and rules pertaining to public participation at Board meetings:

1. Appropriate time will be set aside for citizens to address the Board.

2. When necessary an individual desiring to speak shall give his or her name, address, and the group, if any, that is represented.

3. Consistent with RSA 91-A:3, Policy BEDB, and the laws pertaining to student and family privacy rights, the Board will not place any matter on the public agenda that is to be properly discussed in a non-public session. Complaints regarding individual employees, personnel or students will be directed to the Superintendent in accord with Policies KE and KEB.

4. All speakers are to conduct themselves in a civil manner. Obscene, libelous, defamatory or violent statements will be considered out of order and will not be tolerated. The Board Chair may terminate the speaker’s privilege of address if the speaker does not follow this rule of order.

The Board vests in its Chairperson or other presiding officer authority to terminate the remarks of any individuals when they do not adhere to the rules established above as to content or time limitation.

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, as such, questions may not be directed to individual board members.

Legal References:
RSA 91-A:2, Meetings Open to the Public
RSA 91-A:3, Non-Public Sessions

Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: December 12, 2017
Reviewed: December 11, 2018