Public Comment in Committee Meeting

The School Committee welcomes information, concerns, and opinions from those attending Committee meetings. In order to give those wishing to comment a fair opportunity to speak, ensure compliance with the Open Meeting Law and other legal obligations, and avoid disruption of its meetings, the Committee adopts the following policy for comment periods in its meetings:

  1. One comment period shall occur at or near the beginning of every Committee meeting. The Chair may, at his or her discretion, set aside additional periods. Such comment periods, however, shall not restrict the Chair’s discretion with respect to public comment on any matter before the Committee.
  1. Public comment is dedicated only to matters within the Committee’s responsibility or topics identified on the Committee’s meeting notice. Comments expressing any viewpoint on these matters are welcome.
  1. Any person wishing to comment to the Committee shall identify themselves by name and address of residence and sign in on a sheet provided before commenting.
  1. All comments shall be addressed through the Chair of the meeting.
  1. Unless otherwise determined by the Chair, each comment period shall not exceed 15 minutes and each speaker shall not exceed three minutes.
  1. To ensure compliance with the Open Meeting Law, privacy laws, and other legal obligations, the Committee will not engage with a speaker or with one another in deliberation on comments as they are presented during comment periods. At its discretion, the Committee may schedule issues raised by a speaker for deliberation at a future meeting.
  1. Under most circumstances, administrative channels are the proper and most efficient means for disposition of issues involving school personnel. See KE – Public Complaints and KEB – Public Complaints about School Personnel.
  1. Disruptive comments and conduct are not allowed. Disruptive comments and conduct includes, but is not limited to: the use of profanity; discriminatory statements; vulgarity; comments or conduct that violate the law; and other comments or conduct that interfere with the Committee’s conduct of its business. The Chair shall provide at least one verbal warning to a speaker if he or she makes disruptive comments or engages in disruptive conduct. If, after at least one verbal warning, the speaker persists in making disruptive comments or engaging in disruptive conduct, the Chair may end that person’s privilege of address.

LEGAL REF.:            M.G.L. 30A:1825 (Open Meeting Law)

CROSS REFS.:          KE, Public Complaints

KEB, Public Complaints about School Personnel


Voted: December 11, 2018

Public Participation in Committee Meetings – BEDH


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