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Rockwood School District

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Public Participation in Open Board Meetings

All regular meetings of the Board of Education shall be open to the public.

The Board of Education of the Rockwood School District will provide for one period at each regular Board meeting for statements from patrons ("Patron Comments"). “Patrons” as used in Policy 0412 and Regulation 0412 shall be defined as parents, students, residents or employees of the Rockwood School District. The public comment period shall be solely for Patron Comments related to items listed under the “Rockwood Consent Agenda Items” section or the “Agenda Items” section that are posted on the regularly scheduled, open session meeting agenda.

Patron Comments will be limited to 30 total minutes. Each speaker will be limited to three (3) minutes, and each speaker will only be allowed to comment once during a regularly scheduled board meeting. In order to facilitate a broader engagement, any individual who provides a comment at three (3) consecutive Board meetings on the same topic shall not be permitted to provide public comment at the next subsequent two (2) regular meetings of the Board. These rules may be suspended by a motion and majority vote of the Board at that specific meeting.

The Board uses the public comment period as an opportunity to listen and receive information, but Board members will not engage in debates or discussions with those speaking, other than to seek clarification of their comments. The Board asks that the Superintendent ensure that the appropriate staff member follows up in a timely fashion with the individual regarding the information, question or concern presented during Patron Comments.

In order to provide an opportunity for all patrons to make statements to the Board, speakers shall sign in on cards provided by the Board prior to the start of the Open Session Board meeting. On these cards, speakers shall identify the subject matter that they will address, including the specific permitted agenda item. All speakers are also encouraged to provide the Board either with a copy of their statement or a short written description of the topic they will address. Sign-in for the public comment period will be open thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled start of the regular Open Session Board meeting, at the location the meeting is being held, and will close at the start of the Open Session Board meeting. No card will be accepted after the Open Session Board meeting begins. Patrons will speak in the order in which they have signed in for the Patron Comment period. In the event there is insufficient time at a meeting for all speakers to be heard, the speaker shall have the opportunity of submitting the written copy of their statement to the Board.

The President may rule out-of-order any comments that are not addressed to the specified agenda items as discussed herein, and the person may be prohibited from making future public comments at Board meetings. The President shall rule out-of-order all comments that are irrelevant, repetitious or inappropriate. Comments must be acceptable for a business and family-friendly environment. The President may terminate a speaker’s privilege if the speaker becomes abusive or threatening. Any person who is repeatedly called out-of-order by the President, who disrupts the meeting by using inappropriate language, gestures or personal attacks, or who, having been admonished by the President, continues to make remarks that are inappropriate, shall be requested to leave the meeting, and if refused, may be removed by an officer of the law. Abuse of Policy or Regulation 0412 by a speaker will result in the prohibition of public comment for a period of six (6) months, and may result in further restriction from Board facilities at the discretion of the Board.

Students and employees of the district have certain rights of confidentiality under state and federal law, which the district will uphold and protect. Therefore, comments about individual employees and/or students will not be permitted in an Open Session Board meeting. Concerns or questions regarding such individuals should be addressed using the district’s established procedures.