A Balancing Act: The Role of the School Board Chair in Managing Their Team and in Managing Public Comment at School Board Meetings

Live Event
Date: 01 / 19 / 2022
Time: 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Sold Out


School boards all over Maine have been forced to confront challenging issues during the pandemic in a time of great uncertainty and in the face of alarming behavior by the public at board meetings. As a result, school boards have been wrestling with managing public comment at board meetings and understanding what comments can be restricted and what comments must be allowed. In this Zoom workshop, Steve Bailey and Eileen King of Maine School Management Association and Peter Felmly and Kathleen Wade of Drummond Woodsum will offer practical and legal guidance for board members as they navigate these turbulent waters.
We will offer insights for new (and not so new) board chairs in an effort to help them manage their boards and their public meetings. Kathleen and Pete will also explore the complicated statutory, constitutional, and practical  issues in play in this area. In particular, they will review the general rules concerning what is permitted in a limited public forum and discuss a number of recent court rulings that help to delineate what comments or behavior can be restricted. There will also be ample time for questions.
Who Should Attend, and Why?
Some school boards held elections in November, meaning that a new organizational meeting has been held, with the potential for a new school board chair. This session has been created with these new board members and board chairs in mind so that they can gain some tips in dealing with planning, organizing, and conducting school board meetings while at the same time developing and nurturing their school board governance team.
Additionally, this Zoom workshop has been specially designed for school board members, Board Chairs and Superintendents who seek to gain a clearer understanding of the First Amendment’s applicability in a limited public forum and to hear several practical tips for managing difficult or contentious public comment periods.

Need Help?

Contact Donna Swiderek (dswiderek@schoollaw.com) if you have any questions at all.

Join Our Mailing List