Guidelines for Public Comment and Meeting Decorum

  • April 21, 2022

    When necessary for effective meeting management of the Board meeting, or to accommodate large numbers of individuals wishing to address the Board, the presiding officer may make adjustments to public comment procedures, including adjusting when public comment will occur during the meeting, reordering agenda items, deferring public comment on non-agenda items, continuing agenda items to a later meeting, providing an expanded opportunity for public comment, or establishing an overall time limit for public comment and adjusting the time allotted to each speaker. See Board Policy BED(LOCAL).

    1. Following the posting of the Board meeting agenda, anyone desiring to make a public comment may sign-up by calling 817-814-1920 by 4:00 PM the day of the meeting and may sign-up at the meeting until 5:20 PM. Individuals desiring to make a public comment by written statement may email amanda.coleman@fwisd.org by 12:00 PM the day of the meeting. Written statements will be shared with the Board of Trustees prior to the meeting and will not be read aloud during the Board meeting.
    2. Board members may not engage in a verbal exchange about a subject that has not been posted. The Board may reply with: (1) a statement of specific factual information given in response to the inquiry; (2) recitation of existing policy in response to the inquiry; or (3) direct the person to visit with staff about the issue.
    3. Participants must specify the agenda item(s) or topic(s) of their comment(s).
    4. Participants addressing items on the agenda will speak during the public comment portion of the meeting.
    5. Participants that are addressing the Board with comments of a general nature or on topics not specifically listed on the agenda will speak during the public comment portion of the meeting.
    6. No presentation shall exceed three (3) minutes unless the speaker receives prior approval for additional time because of the use of a translator.  When necessary for effective meeting management or to accommodate large numbers of individuals wishing to address the Board, the time allotted for each speaker will be two (2) minutes when the number of speakers exceeds twenty (20) persons. The allotted time will begin counting down as soon as the speaker begins speaking.
    7. Participants who require the assistance of a translator are permitted double the allotted time of participants who do not require the assistance of a translator.
    8. Participants may not relinquish their time to another speaker.
    9. Participants and members of the audience are allowed to bring signs during the meeting, but such signs shall be limited to a standard poster board size, no larger than 22”x28”. Individual signs that when put together form a larger sign need to comply with the 22”x28” size requirement as measured when the signs are put together.
    10. Speakers should practice normal rules of decorum. Vulgar language and profanity will not be tolerated.
    11. The Board shall not tolerate disruption of the meeting by members of the audience to include verbal, audio or physical disruptions. If, after at least one warning from the presiding officer, any individual continues to disrupt the meeting by his or her words or actions, the presiding officer may request assistance from law enforcement officials to have the individual removed from the meeting. See Board Policy BED(LOCAL).
    12. Any employee, parent, or other member of the public is asked to comply with the appropriate grievance policy to have a complaint heard pursuant to the applicable Board policy. See Board Policies DGBAFNG, and GF.

     

                Tobi Jackson
                School Board President
                Fort Worth Independent School District