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GP110 – Public Participation at Board Meetings

Effective: 9/25/2012
Revision: 1/23/2024
Reviewed: 2/24/2015

A Board of Education recognizes that its deliberative process benefits greatly from public input and perspective. At the same time, it wishes to organize its agendas and use its meeting time effectively, ensure an equitable allocation of time to speakers, and establish an orderly process for receiving public comment.

Additionally, in order to be responsive to the public, the Board desires that appropriate staff members be present and prepared to respond to general areas of concern identified by potential speakers; therefore, it is the policy of the Board that members of the public shall have the right and shall be encouraged to be heard at certain Board meetings. This right may be exercised in the following way:

  1. Prior to each special business item being brought to a vote, members of the public are allowed to speak on the item after the Board’s discussion. Since approval of the consent agenda may be approved in one motion, members of the public wishing to speak on a consent agenda item may speak prior to the vote. No person may yield his or her time to another person. Generally, a person wishing to speak on agenda items will be allowed three minutes to address the Board.
  2. Those wishing to address the Board may utilize one of three options to speak:
    1. Call the Office of the Superintendent during regular business hours.
    2. Sign up immediately prior to the beginning of the meeting.
    3. Volunteer to speak if the Board President invites additional patron input.

    Patrons must list their name and agenda item or topic they wish to address prior to speaking. The Board may elect to hear patron comments in any order or sequence and is not limited by the arrangement shown on the sign-up sheets.

  3. Should a member of the public wish to speak on matters not listed on the agenda, they may speak during the Patron Comment period.
    1. Patron comment time is allotted first to residents of Jordan District, students, parents/guardians of current students, and current employees of the District. All others may address the Board if time permits.
    2. No more than 45 minutes will be allocated to patron comments in a Board meeting. This does not apply to advertised public hearings (e.g. boundary changes, truth-in-taxation).
    3. Speakers will be given up to three minutes to address the Board. The public should be aware that the Board is unable, by law, to take action on items not on the agenda.
    4. In those situations where large groups of people desire to address the Board on the same subject, the President may request that those groups select only one or two speakers from the group to address the Board on behalf of the group and shall be allocated up to six minutes to speak.
    5. Patrons may submit a comment electronically to be read during the Patron Comment period if time permits. Comments will be heard from those attending in-person prior to those received electronically. Electronic comments should be submitted to by 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting. A comment or portion of a comment will not be read if it (a)is not germane to the authority of the Board, (b) regards the character, professional competence, or the physical or mental health of the an individual, (c) or is not appropriate for all ages. Comments not read in the meeting will be forwarded to the Board.
    6. Patrons presenting highly detailed or complex information are asked to provide a written outline of their comments for the Board.
    7. Silence by the Board on an issue does not suggest support or opposition to the message given.
    8. The Board will not take public comment on personnel issues or statements regarding the character, professional competence, and the physical or mental health of an individual during Board meetings. Similar comments about a group whose members could be identified individually are not allowed. Communications regarding such comments or
      statements should be sent in writing to the attention of the Board of Education, 7387 S. Campus View Drive, West Jordan, UT 84084 or email individual Board members.
    9. The Board will only take comments on issues that are germane to the authority of the Board.
    10. Comments should be appropriate for all ages.
    11. Persons who disrupt Board meetings or the business of the Board by applause, cheering, jeering, or personal outbursts may be removed from the meeting by appropriate legal means.
    12. Speech that defames individuals or interrupts the public business of the Board will not be tolerated and may be cause for removal from the meeting. The Board may adjourn the meeting at any time.
    13. Board meeting attendance cannot exceed the seating capacity of the room in which the meeting is scheduled to be held. Whenever possible, the Board will accommodate overflow seating and provide audio for the meeting.
    14. A mayor or the mayor’s designee of a municipality, the county commission chair, county executive or county manager or their designees of a county with unincorporated area that is partly or entirely with the boundaries of Jordan School District, shall be notified of Board meetings and may attend and may participate in discussions at Board meetings. (Utah Code 53G-7-208)
  4. At its discretion, the Board may schedule public hearings for the purpose of receiving public comment on topics of high public interest and/or as required by Utah state law.
    1. Each speaker shall be heard only once during the hearing. If more than one hearing is held on the same issue, patrons may speak at only one of the hearings.
    2. If a large number of patrons have signed up to speak, the Board may elect to adjust the time allocated to each speaker to allow more patrons the opportunity to be heard.
    3. Policy GP110, Sections B and C shall also apply to public hearings.
  5. The Board reserves the right to waive or alter this procedure if in the opinion of the Board it is warranted by the circumstances of any particular meeting.
  6. Study sessions shall be open to the public, but time shall not be provided for patron comments unless invited by the Board president.
  7. At each meeting, the Board President may read speaker guidelines prior to receiving public input.