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216.1 Policy: Guidelines - Public Comment

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I. RESPONSIBILITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

The school district administration shall be responsible for the procedural implementation of the public comment portion of board meetings.  This implementation shall include preparation, sign up, the comment session, communication during and communication processes related to public comment.

II. PREPARATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

The public comment portion of the meeting shall occur on the second meeting of the month, typically held on the 3rd Monday of the month.  In months with only one meeting, that meeting shall include public comment.

Public comment will be available at the Board of Education Meeting, located at 7001 Harriet Avenue South, Richfield, MN, 55423.

Public comment will be the first agenda item. The time period for public comment will be a maximum of 30 minutes. 

III. SIGN UP FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

Individuals can sign up in advance by emailing or calling the Board Secretary or by filling out the form available on the District website. Advance sign up may occur through 12 noon on a board meeting date. 

Individuals must indicate their name, address, phone number or email and the subject they are addressing.  Individuals should also note if their public comment will address something directly related to an agenda item or a non-agenda related item.

If multiple individuals wish to address the same subject during public comment, they may be asked to select a representative to speak for the group. Speakers may be asked to submit a written copy of their prepared statement in advance of the meeting.

If individuals are attending a board meeting without public comment on the agenda, they may write down comments and deliver them to the Board Secretary who will share them with all board members.

If an interpreter is needed for Public Comment or for a Board of Education meeting, please contact the Board Secretary at least 1 week in advance.

IV. PUBLIC COMMENT

Speakers will be called in order as follows:  students, speakers on a specific agenda item, then others in order of sign up, with preference given to those who have not spoken in the past six months.  Time allotted will be three minutes per speaker, with an additional three minutes allocated if interpretation is utilized.  The chair of the board of education will monitor time.  There will be a “30 second warning” given when 30 seconds remain and a “times up” warning given if three minutes have expired.  Speakers are expected to end comments at the “time’s up” warning.

School district administration will be responsible for implementation of public comment including sign up, documentation, and sharing of guidelines.

The School Board takes into consideration comments made during public comment, but will not hold a two-way dialogue or interactive discussion during public comments. The board may provide a response at a later time and/or may provide clarification of points of fact as appropriate during the meeting.

V. COMMUNICATION DURING PUBLIC COMMENT

Speakers should not include names of Richfield Public Schools employees, titles or location names in your remarks for their own legal protection and the legal rights of staff.  Any information that would specifically identify a staff member is included in this warning.  Issues related to school district employees should be made in writing and may identify employees and should be addressed to the Human Resources Department.

Personal attacks by anyone addressing the school board are unacceptable. Persistence in such remarks by an individual shall terminate that person’s privilege to address the school board. If the speaker persists in violating any procedure or rule, the speaker will be directed to leave the premises and not to return, a no trespass order may be issued, and a referral may be made to law enforcement.

Members of the public may not engage in conduct that materially and substantially disrupts any part of a School Board meeting, or that otherwise impedes the School Board’s ability to conduct its business in an orderly and efficient fashion.

VI. COMMUNICATION ABOUT PUBLIC COMMENT

School district administration will be responsible for broadly communicating the guidelines for public comment at the board of education meetings.  Methods should include website, school handbooks, direct communication to families and more. 

 

Dated: November 20, 2017                                         

Revised: September 17, 2021

 

Click here to sign up for public comment

Richfield Public Schools

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