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

Policy Date: 08/22/2023

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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. Board will provide a minimum of thirty minutes to hear public comment. This period
may be extended by a majority vote of the Board. Additionally, the Board may
include additional public comment periods for specific agenda items with a time limit
for public comment specified on the pertinent agenda. If speakers do not fill the
minimum 30 minute public comment period, the Board will move to table the
remainder of the time until the end of the meeting. If insufficient speakers remain to
fill the 30 minutes, the Board will close public comment.

2. The Board reserves the right to limit individual comment time.

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

4. 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.

5. 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

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

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
Revised: August 22, 2023