Scottsboro Board of Education changes public comments policy

The Scottsboro Board of Education recently discussed and approved a revision to the Board Policy Manual regarding public participation at board meetings. Previously citizens were afforded the opportunity to address the Board without pre registration during work sessions. The new policy requires that citizens who wish to speak register with the Scottsboro Board of Education Superintendent at least five days prior to the meeting or work session.
The new policy reads:
“2.5.4 Public Participation
A. Registration to Speak – The public is invited to attend Work Sessions and Board Meetings and shall be afforded limited time to speak to the Board. In order to speak at Work Session or Board Meeting, a citizen or delegation must comply with the following:
a. The citizen or delegation must be citizens of the City of Scottsboro, parents or guardians of students of Scottsboro City Schools, or employees of Scottsboro City Schools.
b. The citizen or delegation must register with the Superintendent to speak at least five (5) days prior to the Board Meeting or Work Session.
c. If the citizen or delegation is registering to discuss a problem or concern, the citizen or delegation should discuss the matter with the Superintendent prior to the Board Meeting or Work Session in an attempt to address the problem or concern.
d. Citizen comments will not be permitted during specially called meetings.
B. Rules for Public Comments. All citizens or delegations who have registered to speak must comply with the following rules:
a. Each citizen or delegation will be given five (5) minutes to speak to the Board.
b. If more than one member of a delegation of citizens with the same or similar opinion on the same topic registers to speak at the same meeting, the delegation shall appoint one person to speak on their behalf.
c. The Board will hear up to six (6) citizen or delegation comments at each meeting. If a citizen or delegation requests to speak and six speakers have already registered to speak, the citizen or delegation will be added to the list of speakers for the next available opening at a subsequent Board Meeting or Work Session.
d. A speaker may not delegate his or her time to another person.
e. No Board action should be expected based on citizen comments, nor should speakers expect a dialogue with the Board during citizen comments because the Board may want to study all proposals or comments.
f. The Board may take steps to preserve the reasonable
decorum of the meeting and, as such, speakers whose actions disrupt the meeting may have their time cut short or may be excluded from future participation in citizen comments. Examples of speech that may warrant such consequences include: use of obscenity; use of excessive profanity; use of racist or hate-filled epithets; making threats of violence; being overly loud or boisterous; and refusal to comply with the Board’s rules (i.e., the time limit).
g. To ensure the privacy of the Board’s students, speakers may not discuss any specific students, including their own students, or circumstances directly related to the education of a specific student.
h. To ensure that matters regarding specific employees of the Board are not discussed in a way that would compromise the federal due process and state administrative rights of any employee, speakers may not discuss any specific employees of the Board. However, speakers are allowed to comment on the actions of specific members of the Board of Education and the Superintendent.
i. For purposes of enforcement, the presiding officer will determine whether a speaker has violated these rules.”

Your Community Newspaper

Local Weather

Clarion Facebook