In order to bring about visitor participation so that school patrons and other visitors may fully enjoy the meeting without disturbing the work of the Board, the following guidelines have been approved:
- It is to be remembered at all times that the school board is a statutorily constituted body engaged in the transaction of public business. The Board acts in accordance with the authority and responsibility vested in it by law in behalf of citizens not present at the meeting as well as those who are present. The Board may seek advice and suggestions but it may never abdicate its own responsibility to make decisions except as provided in laws relating to referral to the electorate.
- The Board will not tolerate disruptive, disrespectful or abusive behavior nor will it permit visitor participation in matters irrelevant to the business at hand. The business of the Board must be conducted by the Board and visitors will participate only at the invitation of the Board.
- Whenever a visitor wishes to present a petition, statement, or other communication to the Board, he/she shall notify the Superintendent or Board President in writing at least five (5) working days prior to the next scheduled Board meeting. Otherwise, such items shall not appear on the agenda but may be considered after the agenda has been completed if the Board agrees to accept the unscheduled item.
- The Board does not normally conduct a public hearing in the transaction of each item of its business. When a public hearing is to be held, it will be announced in advance of the meeting and that fact will be noted on the agenda
- Board meeting is not a public forum. Although permission may be given to visitors to ask relevant questions, the Board meeting is not a place to make speeches. Each meeting is scheduled to consider and act upon specific items of business as listed on the agenda. Board members have received in advance and have carefully studied extensive and comprehensive reports and data related to each item of business. Their concentration on these matters should not be distracted.
ADDRESSING THE BOARD
Directing Inquiries or Complaints to the Board of Education
The School Board members know that there may be times when school patrons will have complaints and inquiries. It is not reasonable to expect that such matters can be adequately accommodated at Board meetings. Inquiries and complaints should be taken initially to those persons who are closest to the problem.
- After talking to a teacher and/or principal, the patron may wish to carry his/her concern to the Superintendent of Schools.
- The Superintendent will ask for a summary statement of the previous investigation with the teacher or principal. He/She will then investigate the matter and report the findings and conclusions to the patron.
- A patron always has the right to appeal to the School Board but should first take the steps outlined above. Even in matters directly related to acts of the Board itself, it is proper to first present the matter to the Superintendent of Schools whose duty it is to interpret and administer school board policy.
- Board members are busy people and the time allotted for board meetings is usually rigidly scheduled to accommodate the necessary business at hand which has been carefully researched and thoroughly studied by board members and administrators.