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BISD board set new rules for public to speak
by Scott Reese Willey
May 13, 2009 | 1223 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the past, members of the public who had a grievance would attend Beeville ISD board meetings and bash a teacher or principal — and neither the teacher, the principal nor trustees could respond.

In the future, anyone who asks to speak during the public forum portion of the board meetings will be notified that they may not name school district employees when addressing the board.

If the member of the public continues to talk about a specific employee by name, then the board president will be authorized to halt the meeting and trustees will go into another room.

The board approved the new measures during a board meeting Friday.

The amendment to the school district policy regarding the public forum section of board meetings goes into effect immediately.

The new measures call for members of the public to announce their intentions to speak during the public forum section of the board meeting by signing up on a sign-up sheet. Deputy Superintendent Erasmo Rodriguez will check the sign-up sheet to see if persons want to speak and if they do, he is to explain to them that they may not complain about a school district employee by name or identify them in some other manner.

If the speaker is attending the meeting to complain about a particular employee, Rodriguez is to explain to him the school district’s grievance policy and direct him to the people he needs to speak to to lodge a formal complaint against an administrator or employee.

Superintendent Dr. John Hardwick Jr. said he wanted to have the new policy in place before graduation.

Each year parents whose high school seniors are not eligible to participate in commencement because they failed a portion of the TAKS test try to persuade trustees to allow the students to participate in graduation ceremonies. Some of those parents, and even some students, point fingers at administrators, faculty or staff.

In other action Friday, Hardwick assured the board that the school district was following the proper procedure in dealing with the swine flu epidemic.

He said the school district is following guidelines set out by the local health department, including keeping common areas clean.

He also assured trustees that the headlines and stories they are reading in the Bee-Picayune and national media regarding the swine flu “have nothing to do with BISD.”

Hardwick did not elaborate; however, after the meeting he told the Bee-Picayune that he has been informed that no faculty, staff or students in the school district have probable, suspected or confirmed cases of swine flu.

A Beeville physician who specializes in infectious disease and pulmonary care has reported that six people in Bee County have confirmed cases of Type A influenza and “most likely” have swine flu. Dr. Miguel Sierra-Hoffman did not release the names, ages or genders of those influenza patients.

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