The board recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in board meetings. By this policy the board has established guidelines to govern public participation in board meetings necessary to conduct its meetings and to maintain order.
In order to permit fair and orderly expression of public comment, the board shall provide an opportunity at each regular meeting of the board for public comment on items listed on the agenda of the regular meeting for board action.
If the board determines there is not sufficient time at a meeting for public comments, the comment period may be deferred to the next regular meeting. In addition, the board has the right to expect that public discussion will be orderly and civil. If not, the board can, in its discretion, discontinue public comment.
The board’s presiding officer shall follow board policy for the conduct of public meetings. Where his/her ruling is disputed, it may be overruled by a majority of those board members present and voting.
Whenever issues identified by the participant are subject to remediation under policies and procedures of the board or district, they shall be dealt with in accordance with those policies and procedures. In particular, the board will not hear either positive or negative comments about staff members or persons connected with the district until those comments/complaints have reached the board through proper administrative procedures.
Participants must be recognized by the president or other presiding officer and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name and group affiliation, if applicable.
Comments of the speaker must relate to an action item on the meeting agenda. Generally, participants shall be limited to comment of a maximum of three (3) minutes duration unless altered by the presiding officer, with the approval of the board. All public comments during any one regular meeting shall be limited to no more than fifteen (15) minutes. No participant may speak more than once during a single meeting. All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no participant may address or question board members individually.
Individuals or groups wishing to speak during the public comment period of the meeting must check in with the board clerk at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the board meeting. The individual must provide the following information, in writing, in order to speak before the board:
▪ Name and address of the individual
▪ The agenda action item(s) the individual wishes to address
▪ The organization the individual represents or is affiliated with, if applicable
Board members may not respond to questions or comments during public participation.
No individual or group may use the agenda item as a forum for campaigning for or against a candidate for public office or ballot measure.
Reference: OKLA. STAT. tit. 25 § 303,304
Adopted: December 18, 2014