FILE:  BCBI

Cf:  BCB, BCBK

Cf:  KN

 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD MEETINGS

 

 

It is the policy of the Plaquemines Parish School Board to conduct all meetings in full view of and with welcomed participation by the public.  However, the Board reserves the right to recess into or call executive sessions for discussing matters as provided by state law.  At no time shall actions be taken or resolutions made during executive sessions.

 

The President of the Board or presiding officer must recognize persons at the Board meetings for the purpose of addressing the Board.  Citizens shall not engage in debate with the Board or address questions to any member of the Board.  The Board, in its discretion, may address questions to persons who address the Board after the presentation is completed.

 

A public comment period shall be held before any deliberation has begun on an agenda item.  However, a person is not entitled to take up business before the Board unless the item in which he/she is interested has been placed on the agenda of that meeting and the procedures have been followed as set forth below in Regulations for Public Participation in Board Meetings.

 

Once the period of public comment has been declared concluded by the presiding officer, and at all other times during the School Board meeting, the audience shall not enter into discussion or debate on matters being considered by the Board.

 

The presiding officer shall recognize Board members prior to any member asking clarifying questions or to any member’s responding to comments made.

 

The presiding officer has the responsibility to keep the discussion and/or responses by both audience members and Board members to the particular item at hand, and shall halt any discussion that does not pertain to the particular item.

 

The presiding officer shall not tolerate foul language, verbal abuse, personal attacks, or other behavior that is not in accordance with generally accepted decorum, and he/she considers disruptive or improper.  The presiding officer shall have the authority to order the removal any person(s) disrupting or interfering in any manner with the expeditious and orderly conduction of a meeting of the Board, provided that said officer shall first issue a warning that continued interference with the orderly progress shall result in removal.  Such removal may result in charges being sought against the disruptive individual(s) in accordance with La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §42:17(C).  Applause shall be acceptable only when an award of recognition is being made.

 

No cellular phones or other devices, including signs, posters or placards, which may cause disruption of the School Board meeting, are permitted in the meeting room.

 

The Board shall not entertain negative comments on individual employees in open public sessions.  Complaints and concerns for which other channels of resolution are provided shall be directed through those channels.  It is only after all administrative channels or recourse have been evaluated that the matter may be brought back before the Board.

 

The presiding officer may, when deemed necessary, direct the Superintendent to investigate certain matters which are brought forth during the public comment session(s), and either respond directly in writing to the questioner, or report back to the School Board at a later date.

 

PRESENTATIONS AND DELEGATIONS:

 

Anyone wishing to make a presentation before the Board or a delegation that wishes to address the Board must submit a written request to the Superintendent.  The request must be submitted no later than five (5) working days prior to a regularly scheduled Monday Board meeting. In the case of a presentation, the request must detail the purpose of the presentation and is limited to no more than ten (10) minutes.  The Superintendent/designee must approve the presentation prior to the request being placed on the agenda.

 

A delegation that wishes to address the Board must submit a detailed request to the Superintendent following the timelines above, stating the matters that it wishes to take up with the Board.  The Superintendent/designee shall attempt to meet with the person(s) requesting to address the Board in an attempt to satisfy the concerns expressed in the written request.  If this is not successful, the items the delegation wishes to discuss will be added to the Board agenda provided the timelines were followed.  One person must be selected in advance by the delegation to speak to the Board for not more than five (5) minutes.

 

At the end of the regular agenda, there will be time allocated for Citizens' Comments and Questions.  General comments shall be permitted for non-agenda items only.  Comments shall be limited to no more than three (3) minutes per individual, and only one person of a particular delegation should speak.

 

REGULATIONS FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD MEETINGS

 

  1. Before each meeting of the Board, a copy of the agenda for that meeting shall be posted at the meeting place or otherwise conspicuously displayed.  Any person wishing to speak on any of the agenda items listed in such agenda must complete and submit a comment card containing his/her name, address, telephone number, and the name of any organization or group for whom the individual wishes to speak, if applicable, and the specific agenda item number about which the citizen wishes to address.  The information must be printed and legible.  A card must be filled out for each agenda item on which the citizen wishes to comment.  No one under the age of eighteen (18) may address the Board unless accompanied by his/her parent, guardian, or teacher, except with the approval of the Board.

  2. This completed card must be submitted to the Board secretary prior to the beginning of the meeting.  No cards shall be accepted after the meeting begins.

  3. In the event that the Board should add an item to its agenda after the Board meeting begins, a slightly different procedure shall be followed.  After the item has been added to the Board’s agenda by a vote of the Board, the presiding officer shall orally request of the audience whether anyone in attendance would like to speak on that item.  Each person indicating a desire to do so shall be given a period not to exceed three (3) minutes to address the Board on that item.  The Board shall delay its deliberations on that item until such time as all interested members have had an opportunity to speak.

  4. As the agenda item comes up for discussion on the agenda, the presiding officer shall review the submitted cards and shall call upon those persons indicating a desire to speak on that item.  Each person called on shall not speak more than three (3) minutes on that item.

  1. A person appearing before the Board shall not discuss any ending motion before the Board unless the Board votes to hear such discussion.

  2. At the end of all public input on each agenda item, the Board shall deliberate the matter and take such action as it considers appropriate.  There shall be no further public input allowed on each agenda item after the Board has begun its deliberation of that item.

  3. The presiding officer has the responsibility to keep the discussion and/or responses by both audience members and Board members to the particular item at hand, and shall halt any discussion that does not pertain to the particular item.

  4. Copies of this procedure shall be available for distribution to the public during regular business hours and at meetings of the Board and its committees.

 

Revised:  May, 2007

Adopted:  November 1, 2010

 

 

Ref:     La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:81, 42:14, 42:15, 42:16, 42:23

Board minutes, 5-1-95, 10-2-95, 8-3-98, 5-7-07

 

Plaquemines Parish School Board