Public participation policy is on the agenda of the workshop

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The Bryan County School Board’s “public participation in board meetings” policy is on a tentative agenda for Thursday’s convened business session at the BOE boardroom in Black Creek.

The approved board policy has drawn fire from some, who claim it is too restrictive.

At least one school policy and curriculum critic, Betsy DeBry, broke the policy in 2021 as heated local protests against mask mandates led the BOE to begin requiring law enforcement to be present at meetings .

At one such meeting in Richmond Hill that DeBry attended, several mandate opponents shouted “shame” at school board members as they left the room. DeBry, who was subsequently barred from addressing the board, later claimed that the BOE violated his First Amendment rights.

Although school board members denied that the policy prevents individuals from addressing the board, “it provides certain protocols to ensure meetings are conducted in a professional and orderly manner,” according to a January statement on behalf of the board. BoE Chairman Amy Murphy’s school year. , who said DeBry was disruptive.

The current policy, available on the Bryan County Schools website, was last updated in May 2021. Although residents may register before the meeting to discuss agenda items , they must contact Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher 24 hours in advance to discuss any items not on the agenda.

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