School Board meetings will look a bit different this year, as no spectators will be allowed in the room for public comment. The policy change comes in response to the chaotic June 22 board meeting that resulted in the unruly public being cleared from the boardroom.
The district’s new policies—to be in effect for the board’s Aug. 10 meeting and “and for the foreseeable future”—only permit members of the public who are registered to deliver public comment to enter the board room. Speakers will enter the boardroom in groups of 10. Lines of speakers will form in groups of 10 prior to being admitted to the boardroom.
A spokesman for the district said that there will me limited seating for the business portion of the meeting.
Speakers will not be allowed to bring in a number of items, including “bags and purses, backpacks, food, sticks or rods of any kind, voice enhancement devices, aerosols, noise-making devices, mace, pepper spray, supports for signs or flags, weapons of any kind,” according to the district’s announcement.
A list of pre-registered speakers will be shared at the administrative offices and on the school division website. To speak at the meeting, the public will have to register to speak in person, or virtually, or submit written comments. Registration begins on Aug. 6 and closes at noon on Aug. 10. Walk-up comment will be accepted up until five minutes before the start of the meeting.
Media members are also required to request credentials in advance of the meeting.
Prior to the new procedures being implemented, the boardroom was open to all members of the public to view the public comment session and the meeting.
More information on the district’s updated meeting procedures is available here.