School board denies action to revise public comment policy

By LOUIE DIAZ
editor@sbnewspaper.com

On Tuesday, April 13 the San Benito CISD held a regular board meeting and denied a motion to revise the BED (Local) policy.
Trustee Ana Llanes brought forth the item on the agenda.
“It’s very important that we give our community a voice, it doesn’t mean that it has to be negative or positive, but I think we should allow them to voice their concern as taxpayers, as parents of these students,” Llanes said.
The BED(Local) pertains to public participation during board meetings. The current policy states that public comments are limited to agenda items with a maximum of three minutes to speak per item.
SBCISD Board President, Orlando Lopez, asked Superintendent Dr. Nate Carman what other school districts have a similar policy to SBCISD’s.
Carman answered that Harlingen CISD, Brownville ISD, Donna ISD, and Mercedes ISD have a policy similar to SBCISD’s current BED (Local) policy. He went on to say that Los Fresnos ISD, Rio Hondo ISD, Mcallen ISD, and Weslaco ISD allow all public comments during regular meetings and only on agenda items during special board meetings.
Trustee Ramiro Moreno questioned what sorts of limitations are allowed during the public comments and what percentage of the public comments violated the board policy in previous years.
Orlando Lopez answered regarding public comments in the past before the policy was revised.
“It gets to a point sometimes it’s a very gray zone. You can warn them one time, we read the rules to them and they still come in here and start yelling and doing all kinds of shenanigans,” he said. “You can tell them to get up and leave, but they have their right to speak.”

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