Policy 2310

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PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT BOARD MEETINGS   Policy Code:   2310

Board meetings are conducted for the purpose of carrying on the official business of the school district. The public is cordially invited to attend board meetings to observe the board as it conducts its official business.

The board of education, as an elected representative body of the school district, also wishes to provide a forum for citizens to express interests and concerns related to the school district. To provide an opportunity for input while conducting an orderly meeting, individuals or groups may be heard by the board in accordance with this policy or policy 2300, section D, paragraph 2, which addresses public hearings.

Contents

REQUESTS TO PLACE ITEM ON THE AGENDA

In order that the board may fairly and adequately discharge its overall responsibility, citizens desiring an item to be placed on the agenda for a specific board meeting should direct written requests to the superintendent at least five working days prior to the meeting.

The request should include:

• the name and address of the person or persons making the request; • the organization or group, if any, represented; and • a brief explanation of the nature of the item.

Questions and/or materials to be presented to the board are to be submitted along with the request.

The superintendent will confer with the chairperson of the board concerning whether to approve placing the requested item on the agenda, and to determine the appropriate meeting for such discussion. The superintendent, with the consent of the board chairperson, will accept or deny a request for inclusion on the agenda. Reasons a request may be denied, include, but are not limited to, a conclusion that the matter is repetitious, irrelevant or overly lengthy; the matter is not a matter that is appropriate for the board to consider at that time in that it has not been taken through the grievance process; the item is an inappropriate use of a public forum in that it is harassing in nature or involves personal and potential slanderous attacks on an individual.

The superintendent will notify the requesting party of the response to the request. The board may, by majority vote and notwithstanding prior denial by the superintendent, consent to hear a presentation where the appeal to speak is made immediately prior to or during the course of the meeting. The superintendent will explain any other processes available for addressing the concerns. (See section below, Reports of Complaints.)

PUBLIC COMMENT

Each month, a part of the board meeting will be set aside for citizens to address the board through public comment. A sign-up sheet will be available for any individual or group to indicate their desire to address the board. The chairperson will decide the amount of time to be devoted to public comments. The superintendent shall develop additional procedures to ensure that public comment sessions proceed in an efficient and orderly manner.

If the board does not hold a regular meeting during a month, the board will not provide a time for public comment at any other meeting held during that month unless a majority of the board votes to allow public comment at the meeting or unless the purpose of the meeting is a public hearing.

GENERAL RULES REGARDING PUBLIC AGENDA ITEMS OR PUBLIC COMMENT

A presentation will be limited to no more than three minutes. Board members may ask clarifying questions of speakers, but there will be no general discussion of items presented. Except in cases of emergency, information received during presentations will not be acted upon at the time it is received. It will take a unanimous vote of the board members present to take action on a presentation considered to be of an unusual or emergency nature at the time it is presented. If any person disrupts a public meeting and refuses to leave after being directed to do so by the chair that conduct shall be reported to the district attorney for appropriate action.

REPORTS OF COMPLAINTS

Complaints about the performance of school personnel, implementation of board policy, the quality of the educational program or school facilities should be submitted initially for a response to the school district official responsible for the program or facility or to the superintendent. The superintendent or designee will make available this board policy and other relevant grievance procedures to any individual or group submitting a complaint.


Legal References: G.S. 143-318.10 and -.17, 115C-36. -51

Cross References: Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740-4010), Role of Board Members in Handling Complaints (policy 2122), Board Meetings (policy 2300), Board Meeting Agenda (policy 2330), Responding to Complaints (policy 1742-5060)

Adopted: August 20, 2007

Revised: November 13, 2008

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