Public Comment Procedures
Submitting for Public Comment
- Any individual seeking to speak during the public comment session of a regular board meeting must complete and submit the public comment card by no later than 15 minutes prior to the designated start time provided on the meeting notice.
- Public comment cards must be completed in their entirety with accurate and truthful information and must designate whether the speaker is speaking on a specific agenda item. Failure to designate an agenda item relevant to the speaker’s comments will result in the classification of the public comment as a non-agenda item comment, to be heard at a later time in the meeting.
- The Board will provide speakers that submit a public comment card on an agenda item the opportunity to speak prior to the Board’s consideration of the item in the order in which they were received.
- Public comment cards are only applicable to the meeting in which they are completed and submitted by the established deadline.
- Each individual gets one opportunity per meeting to share their comments with the Board of Trustees, not multiple opportunities per individual agenda items.
- If a speaker is not present when his/her name is called, the speaker forfeits the opportunity to speak at that meeting.
- The comments made by speakers at public comment reflect the opinions solely of the speaker and not the Board of Trustees as a governing body or the District.
Order of Agenda and Limitations
- The Board reserves the right to change the order of the agenda items on the notice of meeting and / or defer agenda items until a later date.
- Each speaker will be provided up to three minutes to address the Board of Trustees unless more than 10 speakers sign up to speak, in which case, the presiding officer reserves the right to reduce the time allotted to each speaker to no less than one minute per speaker. (Board Policy BED (LOCAL)).
- If at any time, in the opinion of the presiding officer, the individual speaker is attempting to address a non-agenda item in the agenda item public comment period, the presiding officer or designee may stop the speaker and defer the speaker’s comments to the appropriate portion of the meeting.
- Public comments relating to non-agenda items will be deferred until the end of the meeting if time permits, unless otherwise noted by the Board of Trustees.
- Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated in the meeting. If after the provision of a single warning, the disruptive behavior continues, the disruptive individual may be escorted out of the meeting by District officials and/or law enforcement.
- It is a criminal offense for a person, with intent to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, to substantially obstruct or interfere with the ordinary conduct of a meeting by physical action or verbal utterance.
- Conduct defined by Texas Penal Code §42.01 and Board Policies BED (LEGAL) and BED (LOCAL).
- Failure to yield the podium at the conclusion of the time allotted to a speaker at public comment constitutes a disruption and will be addressed accordingly.
- Comments made to the Board of Trustees by meeting attendees and/or speakers outside of the designated public comment periods during a meeting constitute a disruption.
Board’s Response to Public Comment
- Specific factual information or recitation of existing policy may be furnished in response to inquiries, but the Board shall not deliberate or decide regarding any subject that is not included on the agenda posted with notice of the meeting. The Board may also refer a speaker to a staff member in authority over the issue.
- For specific complaints or concerns, speakers are encouraged to utilize the District’s appropriate grievance procedures and policies set forth in Board Policies FNG (LOCAL), DGBA (LOCAL), and GF (LOCAL).
The procedures outlined herein apply to special called Board meetings. However, comments at special called Board meetings are limited to agenda items only.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The Board does not discriminate against speech on the basis of viewpoint.