Public Forum Guidelines

PUBLIC FORUM

The purpose of the Public Forum is to provide an opportunity for citizens to address the Centennial School Board. 

Citizens who would like to address the board on a topic on the meeting agenda may email Jody Josephson, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent at jjosephson@isd12.org by 2:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

The email request must include the following information:

  • Your full name;
  • Address;
  • Phone Number;
  • Number and name of the agenda item you wish to speak to;
  • Your questions and/or comments on the agenda item

Only those persons who have sent an email request which includes all of the information requested above by 2:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting will be allowed to address the Board, time permitting, during Public Forum.

SPEAKER GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC FORUM

  • When recognized by the board chair, please state your name, address, and agenda item you would like to speak to.
  • Please limit your remarks to no more than three minutes.
  • If there is more than one person in your group who wishes to address the board on the same agenda item, please designate a spokesperson.
  • An individual speaker should not restate information from previous speakers.
  • Board meetings are meetings held in public. They are not public hearings.
  • Due to data privacy laws, information concerning specific students or staff is NOT appropriate for Public Forum.  Information addressing specific students or staff should be communicated to the appropriate building administrator or to the superintendent of schools.

PROCEDURES FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

  1. The school board chair will recognize one speaker at a time and will rule out of order other speakers who are not recognized.  Only those speakers recognized by the chair will be allowed to speak.  Comments by others are out of order.  Individuals who interfere with or interrupt speakers, the school board, or the proceedings shall be directed to leave.
  2. The school board retains the discretion to limit discussion of any agenda item to a reasonable period of time as determined by the school board.  If a group or organization wishes to address the school board on a topic, the school board reserves the right to require designation of one or more representatives or spokespersons to speak on behalf of the group or organization.
  3. The school board chair shall promptly rule out of order any discussion by any person, including school board members, that would violate the provisions of state or federal law, this policy or the statutory rights of privacy of an individual.
  4. 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.
  5. Depending upon the number of persons in attendance seeking to be heard, the school board reserves the right to impose such other limitations and restrictions as necessary in order to provide an orderly, efficient, and fair opportunity for those present to be heard.

 Click here for the Centennial ISD 12 policy on public participation in School Board Meetings.

During the Public Forum, the School Board will listen but will not try to resolve a concern at the meeting. The issue will be referred to the Superintendent for appropriate follow-up. Those who requested to speak but were not able to finish within the three-minute time limit are encouraged to submit their comments in writing to SchoolBoard@isd12.org.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

The following conduct is prohibited during a public School Board meeting, including during Comments to the School Board:

  • Speakers may not discuss or disclose any private educational data on any current or former student as defined in Minnesota Statutes section 13.32.  As a result, speakers may not identify any current or former student during Comments to the School Board.  The only exception is that a parent who is speaking may choose to discuss private educational data on his or her own child. 
  • Speakers may not make allegations, charges, or complaints against any student or employee.  If a person wishes to make an allegation or to file a charge or complaint against a student or employee, the person should make the allegation, charge, or complaint to the Superintendent in writing or in a private meeting, or to the individual designated in District policy to receive the allegation, charge, or complaint. 
  • Speakers may not make comments or gestures that are threatening, profane, lewd, vulgar, obscene, harassing, or abusive.
  • Speakers may not make personal attacks against others, including, but not limited to, any student, parent, community member, employee, or School Board member.
  • Speakers may not make comments that would violate federal or state law, including laws protecting the privacy rights of an individual. 
  • Speakers may not make comments related to pending contract negotiations or to pending litigation to which the District is a party, including grievance proceedings. 
  • Speakers may not campaign for or against a political candidate during any part of a public school board meeting. 
  • Speakers may not promote or advertise products that are for sale or purchase unless the Board has invited the speaker to present on the product as an agenda item. 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.  The following are examples of conduct that is materially and substantially disruptive or that otherwise impedes the School Board’s ability to conduct its business in an orderly and efficient fashion: 
  •  Making comments that incite violence;
  •  Making comments that reasonably instill fear;
  •  Interrupting a speaker who has been recognized by the School Board Chair;
  •  Making comments from the audience when the person making comments has not been recognized by the School Board    Chair;
  • Interrupting the School Board Chair or any other School Board member or school official who is speaking;
  • Holding up a sign or displaying a banner, regardless of the content of the sign or banner;
  • Clapping, cheering, booing, vocalizing approval, or vocalizing disapproval for a speaker during the speaker’s          presentation, unless a School Board member or school official is presenting an award to a person or is describing an honor or award that a person received;
  • Addressing the audience rather than the School Board;
  • Bringing a weapon into the meeting room or onto school property, except as allowed under Minnesota law;
  • Violating room capacity requirements; and
  • Violating any law or District policy. 

Violations.  If a speaker violates any of the established procedures or engages in any prohibited conduct, the Board Chair will rule the speaker out of order. 

  • If the speaker is presenting to the School Board, the Board Chair may require the speaker to immediately end his or her presentation. 
  • If repeated disruptions occur during Comments to the School Board, the School Board Chair may call a recess and order that the room be cleared until the meeting resumes. 
  • If repeated disruptions occur, any School Board member may make a motion to immediately end Comments to the School Board.  If the motion passes, citizens may use alternative avenues of communication to share their views with the School Board, including written communications.