Public Participation at School Committee Meetings

  • File: BEDH
    The part of the meeting designated for Communications is set aside to provide opportunities for citizens to present information, ideas, proposals, requests and opinions to the Peabody School Committee. The Committee authorizes communications in several avenues, all-operating within the framework of the Committee's scheduled meetings and in accordance with the Agenda as outlined in the previous section.
    • Written Communications: In the interests of precision and accuracy, written communications are preferred but not required. Written communication from citizens requiring Committee attention, which are received in the office of the Superintendent of Schools, at least one week prior to a regular meeting will be placed on the agenda for that meeting under the heading, "Communications," and may be considered for action at that meeting. Such communications should be precise and state the issue as succinctly as possible. They should indicate the action sought from the committee. If there are many who wish to make the same case, and seek the same action, a petition providing for many signatures is suggested.
    • Verbal Communications: There will be a period of up to 20 minutes at each regular meeting set aside for citizens to address the Committee on issues which concern them. The Chairperson may elect to receive such communications out of the prescribed agenda order at the mutual convenience of citizen and Committee. Verbal communications will be addressed to the Chairperson prior to the commencement of the regular meeting. He/she will maintain order and assure equity of speaking opportunity among those wishing to address the Committee. He/she may regulate and limit participation within the provision of this by-law. The Committee may determine to limit or alter this authority by majority vote.
    In accordance with law, "no person shall address a public meeting without permission of the presiding officer at such meeting, and all persons shall, at the request of such presiding officer, be silent."
    It is the purpose of this part of the meeting to hear citizens. Thus, except to clarify items of information, members of the Committee will not participate in "Communications" and, unless the issue presented is otherwise included in the agenda or may reasonably be declared an emergency, will take no action on the issue at the meeting at which it is presented.
    LEGAL REFS: M.G.L. 39:23C