This Policy is under review.

7340 - Public Participation at Board Meetings

Last Updated Date: 01/11/2021

Adoption Date: 10/22/1996

Revision History:

The District is governed by a School Board, which powers and duties include the authority to adopt, enforce, and monitor all policies for the management and governance of the District’s schools. Official action by the Board may only occur at a duly called and legally conducted meeting, at which the public is invited to observe and address the Board at designated times.


For a maximum of 30 minutes during each regular and special open meeting of the Board, members of the public and District employees may comment to or ask questions of the School Board (public participation), subject to reasonable constraints established and recorded in this policy’s guidelines below. It shall be the Board’s practice not to directly engage in discussion or ask or answer questions during public comment. The Board listens to comments or questions during public participation; responses to comments to or questions of the Board are most often managed through policy 2100, Line of Responsibility. If members of the public violate this policy and it requires the Board to take time to address such non-compliance, including the Bard calling a recess, that time will be considered part of the total duration for public comment. When public participation takes less time than the 30 minutes, it shall end.

The individuals appearing before the Board are expected to follow these guidelines:

    1. Persons seeking to speak before the Board will be requested to complete a Request for Public Comment card, which shall contain the procedures as reflected in this Policy.  The Board reserves the right to modify those procedures as necessary for an orderly and efficient meeting.

    2. Address the Board only at the appropriate time as indicated on the agenda and when recognized by the Board President. This includes following the directives of the Board President to maintain order and decorum for all.

    3. Identify oneself and be brief.  Ordinarily, comments shall be limited to 3 minutes.  In unusual circumstances, and when an individual has made a request in advance to speak for a longer period of time, the individual may be allowed to speak for more than 3 minutes. If multiple individuals wish to address the Board on the same subject, the group is encouraged to appoint a spokesperson.

    4. All comments should be related to the business of the public body.

    5. Observe the Board President’s decision to shorten public comment to conserve time and give the maximum number of individuals an opportunity to speak.

    6. Observe the Board President’s decision to expand the overall 30 minutes for public participation.

    7. Observe the Board President’s decision to determine procedural matters regarding public participation not otherwise covered in Board policy.

    8. Conduct oneself with respect and civility toward others and otherwise abide by Board policy, 1500, Visitors to and Conduct on School Property. Individuals shall not:

      1. Strike, injure, threaten, harass, or intimidate a staff member, Board member, or any other person.
      2. Use vulgar or obscene language.
      3. Impede, delay, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with a Board meeting (including using cellular phones in a disruptive manner).
      4. Engage in any conduct that interferes with, disrupts, or adversely affects the District or a Board meeting.
      5. Violate other District policies or regulations, a directive from an authorized security officer, or a District employee or Board member.

    It is requested that any item of an educational or operational matter normally cared for by the administrative staff shall have been discussed at least once with an appropriate administrator.

    Petitions or written correspondence to the Board shall be presented to the Board in the next regular Board packet. Individuals interested in making a public comment, but who are unable to attend the meeting in person, may use the online form to provide comments. Petitions or written correspondence shall not be read orally during public comment. Submissions will be shared with all Board members and will be made part of the official record. This form will open the morning of a Board meeting and close when the time begins for the first public comment.

    Policy References:

    5 ILCS 120/2.06. 105 ILCS 5/10-6 and 5/10-16.