Public Participation in Committee Meetings

The School Committee welcomes information, concerns, and opinions from those attending Committee meetings. In order to give those wishing to speak a fair opportunity to be heard and to complete its business, the Committee adopts the following procedures for public participation in its meetings:

  1. The Chair may set aside one or more periods during each meeting to hear the information, concerns, and opinions of the public. One such period shall occur at or near the beginning of any meeting.
  1. Any citizen wishing to speak to the Committee shall identify themselves by name and address and sign in on the sheet provided.
  1. The Chair, even without such an announcement, may permit a period of public participation at any time.
  1. Unless otherwise determined by the Chair, each period of public participation shall not exceed 15 minutes and each speaker shall not exceed three minutes.
  1. 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 Chair may terminate that individual’s privilege of address.
  1. Individuals may address topics on the agenda, items specified for public comment, or items within the scope of responsibility of the Committee. Any presentation to the Committee which breaches the privacy or other rights of students, parents, or school employees, or which does not comply with Committee policy on complaints will be ruled out of order. 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. The Chair shall rule out of order any individual who fails to honor the guidelines or who addresses a matter inappropriate for public comment.
  1. All remarks will be addressed through the Chair of the meeting.
  1. There will not be a deliberation between the persons at the microphone and the Committee. If the Committee believes that an issue requires a dialogue with the community, the Committee may schedule a separate hearing on that issue.
  1. Chapter 30A, Section 20(g) of the General Laws (Regulations of Participation by Public) shall apply.

Voted:  June 20, 2017

Public Participation in Committee Meetings – BEDH