Late additions to the Wake County school board's newly adopted public participation policy that could prevent some people from speaking at meetings drew boos from the crowd on Tuesday.
The board added on second reading a new section saying that "the Board may provide for the designation of spokesmen for groups or persons supporting or opposing the same positions."
Another new section says that "the Board may provide for the selection of delegates from groups of persons supporting or opposing the same positions when the number of persons wishing to attend the hearing exceeds the capacity of the meeting room."
Neither section had been in the first reading of the policy that had been adopted May 4. School board attorney Ann Majestic said those sections were added to take into account this state statute on public comment at school board meetings.
The policy was passed unanimously.
At many of the meetings since December, the number of speakers has exceeded the 30-minute window set aside for public comment. What school board chairman Ron Margiotta has typically done is extend the time before stopping and telling the remaining speakers they can talk at the end of the meeting.
For instance, Margiotta had the public comment run for an hour on Tuesday. The remaining 15 speakers were held to the end of the meeting, by which time most had left.
With critics of the new board majority accounting for most of the speakers at meetings, it's likely that the invoking of these new sections would lead to a negative reaction.
Cilck here to view the adopted policy.