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WikiHow: “Speaking out at community, town or school board meetings is as American as apple pie. Local boards provide a glimpse of Democracy at its most basic level.
The ability to speak directly to a government board – a city council, a school board, college trustees – is perhaps the purest and most basic form of citizen participation.”
Student Press Law Center: “The podium at a governmental meeting is considered a ‘designated’ public forum, meaning a piece of property that has been purposefully set aside for expressive use.”
Minneapolis Public School Board Guidelines for Public Comment:
The Board of Education values public input. The responsibility of the Board is to actively listen and reflect on public comments. Guidelines for public input emphasize respect and consideration of others. We ask individuals that desire to speak to respectfully agree to the meeting guidelines below:
- Public comments occur towards the beginning of the Board business meetings, which occur on the second Thursday of every month.
- During the 45 minute public comment period, each registered speaker will have up to three minutes in which to address the Board.
- Up to five people can speak on a specific topic, which allows a diversity of opinions to be presented while being mindful of time.
But at the May 22, 2018 School District of Indian River County School District (SDIRC) Board meeting, Chairman Shawn Frost flipped the public comment section, which occurs before for the meeting agenda, to the end of the meeting agenda. (Please note update below.)
It took approximately three hours for the public to comment while the Board discussed the topic of ending complementary transportation to three local non-profits, the Gifford Youth Achievement Center, Dasie Bridgewater Hope Center and the Boy’s and Girl’s Club; as well as the possible search for a School Board attorney.
When it was time for public comment many people who wanted to make a public comment had left.
According to SDIRC School Board candidate Stacey Klim, “Moving an agenda around to discourage people from speaking is disgraceful. When a room full of constituents take time to come to a public meeting they should be given a reasonable opportunity to speak.”