Meetings of the Board are public in the sense that they are held in public. This does not mean they are public meetings in the same as a town meeting. There is no statutory requirement in Maine that the public be permitted to speak at board meetings. However, we welcome comments and concerns related to the matter under consideration by the Board, within the guidelines set forth in Board policy BEDH - Public Participation at Board Meetings. Therefore, the Chair shall provide an opportunity for public comment under the Public Participation segment of each agenda.
Please be aware of these ground rules from our policy:
- Individuals wishing to be heard by the Board shall be recognized by the chair. After identifying themselves, speakers will make brief comments.
- A speaker shall not be recognized for a second time on a particular item unless time remains after all have been heard.
- All speakers must observe rules of common etiquette. Personalities or complaints about specific individuals may not be injected.
- The Board may set a time limit on the length of public comments and/or a time limit for individual speakers.
- A speaker in violation of these rules may be required to leave in order to permit the orderly consideration of the matters for which the meeting was called.
- Except in an emergency, the Board will not attempt to decide upon any question before full examination and an opportunity for the superintendent to research the matter and make his/her recommendations to the Board.
Public Comment Procedure
- Speakers must act civilly - vulgar speech, swearing, and/or yelling during the comment period will not be permitted.
- Speakers may only address school issues. Discussion of issues that do not relate to school business will not be permitted.
- Charges or complaints against any individual employee, where such charges or complaints might damage the employee's reputation or violate the employee's right to privacy, shall only be made in executive session in accordance with the Freedom of Access Act. The individual to whom the complaint is addressed shall have a right to be present when the Board hears such charges in executive session.
- Defamatory or slanderous comments are not permitted.
- The Board reserves the right to set time limits on the entire comment period or for the individual speakers.
- Repetitive statements or comments should be avoided where possible.