Advertisement

NACS resumes public comment and in-person board meetings

Board members at Northwest Allen County Schools returned to in-person board meetings  Monday...
Board members at Northwest Allen County Schools returned to in-person board meetings Monday with public comment.(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:47 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Board members at Northwest Allen County Schools returned to in-person board meetings Monday with public comment.

NACS spokesperson Lizette Downey says it was a calm and smooth board meeting Monday night because of their new bylaws.

“Parents were respectful, the board was able to complete business in record time,” she said.

This was their first meeting with public comment since September and about 25 people showed up, but only a few signed up for comment. Joe Conner says he went to the podium voice his opinion as a parent Monday on COVID-19 mandates.

“I’ve kind of stayed in the background with these board meetings,” he said. “Now I want to come out and voice my opinion.”

Conner says he does not support masking or vaccine passports in schools and wanted to voice that to the board. He says he’s planning to return to the meeting and hope it remains calm without confrontation.

“It seems really organic and honest,” Conner said. “The spirit that we wanted to restore order and focus back on our kids.”

This month the NACS board voted on new bylaws regarding public comment.

To help clarify the changes to public participation, here are key highlights of the revised bylaw. Those changes are as follows.

• Public participation shall be limited to 30 minutes total unless a majority of the board agrees to extend the time.

• If more speakers sign up than can be heard in the allotted time, speakers will be selected via random drawing. Sign-up order is therefore irrelevant.

• Sign-up for public comment closes when public comment time begins.

• Individuals may speak for 2 minutes; time may not be ceded to another speaker, nor may they speak again at the same meeting.

• The Board may vote to give preference to participants: (1) residing within the school district; (2) employed by NACS; (3) having a child/children enrolled in NACS; or (4) individuals paying property taxes that accrue to NACS.

• Public participants must be recognized by the presiding officer, and they must preface their comments by stating their name; the speaker should direct comments to the presiding officer.

• The presiding officer may: 1) terminate an individual’s comments which are repetitive or threatening; 2) interrupt, warn, or terminate a public comment when the comment is too lengthy, not directed to the presiding officer, or obscene; 3) request any individual to leave the meeting when that individual behaves in a manner that interferes with or is disruptive of the orderly conduct of the meeting; 4) request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly individual when that individual’s conduct interferes with or disrupts the orderly conduct of the meeting; 5) call for a recess or an adjournment to another time, when the lack of public decorum so interferes with or disrupts the orderly conduct of the meeting so as to warrant such action.

NACS also streams all of their school board meetings on their YouTube channel live.

Copyright 2022 Fort Wayne’s NBC. All rights reserved.