Carmel Clay Schools to temporarily suspend public comment at school board meetings

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Carmel Clay Schools will not provide time for public comment at its Aug. 23 school board meeting and has moved the start time from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

CCS announced the changes in an Aug. 18 email to parents that stated the new measures are in response to disruptions, verbal attacks, intimidation, inappropriate behavior and the presence of a firearm by an attendee at recent school board meetings.

“While meetings will remain open to the public, the repeated use of board meetings to advance outside agendas, promote division and create hostile environments, combined with email and social media threats to staff and board members has led to these needed temporary changes,” the email stated.

Public comment at school board meetings has been suspended indefinitely, although CCS officials said the change is temporary. By law, school boards and other government bodies are not required to allow public comment at meetings except for certain matters, such as public hearings. There are no public hearings scheduled on the Aug. 23 agenda.

CCS Director of Community Relations Emily Bauer said the meeting time was adjusted to “reflect the length of the agenda and availability of our board members.”

Those attending the meeting will be subject to metal detection. To expedite entry, attendees are asked not to bring bags, backpacks or purses, which will be searched. Face coverings will be required, and signs and banners will not be allowed inside the building.


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