BEDH: Public Participation at School Committee Meetings

  • All regular and special meetings of the School Committee shall be open to the public. Executive sessions will be held only as prescribed by the Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    The School Committee desires citizens of the District to attend its meetings so that they may become better acquainted with the operations and the programs of our local public schools. In addition, the Committee would like the opportunity to hear the wishes and ideas of the public.

    In order that all citizens who wish to be heard before the Committee have a chance and to ensure the ability of the Committee to conduct the District's business in an orderly manner, the following rules and procedures are adopted:

    1. At each scheduled School Committee meeting, individuals or group representatives will be invited to address the Committee. The Chairperson shall determine the length of the public participation segment.
    2. Speakers will be allowed two (2) minutes to present their material. The presiding Chairperson may permit extension of this time limit.
    3. Comments will be allowed as per the Public Comment notation on the agenda, and if necessary, following each agenda topic prior to routine business.
    4. Improper conduct and remarks will not be allowed. Defamatory or abusive remarks are always out of order. If a speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks, the Chairperson may terminate that individual’s privilege of address.
    5. All remarks will be addressed through the Chairperson of the meeting.
    6. Speakers may offer such objective criticisms of the school operations and programs as concern them, but in public session the Committee will not hear personal complaints of school personnel nor against any member of the school community. Under most circumstances, administrative channels are the proper means for disposition of legitimate complaints involving staff members.
    7. Written comments longer than two (2) minutes may be presented to the Committee before or after the meeting for the Committee members’ review and consideration at an appropriate time.
Last Modified on April 21, 2020