Public Participation

Policy Regulation/Procedure BCBI-R(1): Public Participation in Board Meetings Status: ADOPTED
Original Adopted Date: 09/29/2022 | Last Reviewed Date: 09/29/2022


These procedures are in accordance with Policy BCBI and provide the Rules of Conduct, in accordance with O.C.G.A. §20-2-58, for all Board meetings. Further, for scheduling purposes, prospective speakers must sign up at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. The Board will set aside up to 30 minutes on the agenda of its regular meetings to hear comments from the public in accordance with these procedures.

All attendees shall remember that while the meetings are open to the public, the purpose of the meeting is to conduct the business of the school system, and members of the public are invited to participate only as allowed by Board policy and these procedures.

  1. Signs, flags, and banners are prohibited inside the Board meeting room.
  2. Each member of the public participating in the public comment will be given no more than five minutes to speak. The Board or its Chair may limit further the total time allocated for public participation, as well as further limit the length of individual comments during public participation at its discretion for the purpose of the efficient operation of the business of the meeting.
  3. Only residents of the School District, representatives of businesses or organizations located in the District, parents, or guardians of students attending the schools of the District, or school system employees may address the Board during public participation. No individual or group will be retaliated against, in any manner whatsoever, for speaking during public participation.
  4. The Board requests that any group or organization appoint a single representative to address the Board.
  5. Speakers may bring printed and other supporting materials. These materials should be given to the Superintendent or Board Chair and can be distributed to the other Board members.
  6. Issues involving individual employees or individual students and pending litigation are not subjects for public participation. The public is urged to follow other resolution processes set forth in Board policy or available at individual schools, where those processes are clearly designed to address the issue to be raised. It should again be noted that public participation is not designed for this purpose and the Board will not take action based on public participation.
  7. The use of physically threatening remarks, hateful racial epitaphs and other comments or conduct by speakers or members of the audience that result in a disruption of the meeting will not be allowed.
  8. The Board will not respond to comments made by the speaker during public participation unless a member of the Board chooses to ask a question. Speakers should remain at the microphone while answering questions.

By reading and acknowledging acceptance prior to speaking during public participation, speakers attest that they understand and will abide by these procedures. The Chair of the Board is responsible for enforcing these procedures. Those attending a meeting or speaking during public participation who violate these procedures will be warned by the Chair. A continued violation may result in a speaker being asked to sit down. If any person attending a meeting refuses to follow these rules disrupting the meeting, they will be asked to leave and if they refuse, be escorted from the meeting room. Such serious or repeated violations of the rules of conduct may result in the individual being prohibited from speaking during a board meeting for an appropriate period of time. Any attendee violating the laws of the State while on District property or attending a meeting of the Board shall be subject to arrest by law enforcement.