The Wallenpaupack School Board, August 20, adjusted their public participation policy, among other points, to limit who may speak, for how long and to stay put in the designated spot when addressing the board.

WALLENPAUPACK - The Wallenpaupack School Board, August 20, adjusted their public participation policy, among other points, to limit who may speak, for how long and to stay put in the designated spot when addressing the board.

Public participation is provided on the agenda at the beginning of each regular board meeting,

The board has inserted a provision that public participants be “residents and/or taxpayers of the district; anyone representing a group in the community or district; any representative of a firm eligible to bid on materials or serves solicited by the board; any district employee; or any district student.”

The board has the right to exclude from the public comment segment anyone who is not one of the above.

In addition to the requirement it state one’s name, the public participant must now state his/her address or address of taxable property, and group affiliation, if appropriate.

The board also added to the policy a limitation of any public comment to five minutes duration, and the participant must address the board only from the designated speaking area.

Other guidelines that were approved previously include:

• Whenever issues identified by the participant are subject to remediation under policies and procedures of the board, they shall be dealt with in accordance with these policies and procedures.

• All persons wishing to participate in a public board meeting shall register their intent with the board secretary in advance of the meeting and include the name and address of the participant, group affiliation if appropriate, and topic to be addressed.

• No participant may speak more than once on the same topic, unless all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard.

• All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no participant may address or question board members individually.

• The presiding officer may:

Interrupt or terminate a participant’s statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant.

Request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum.

Request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person’s conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting.

Call for a recess or an adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action.

The next Wallenpaupack School Board meeting is set for Monday, September 10 at 6 p.m. in the High School Library. A committee meeting precedes it at 5:30 p.m.