Several contentious school board meetings have caused Noblesville Schools to issue an announcement with board meeting changes.
The rules come after a heated August board meeting, in which hundreds of people refused to wear face masks, made threatening comments and booed, yelled or interrupted speakers.
Some of the changes include limiting the public comment section to 45 minutes. Attendees can’t bring signs or protest materials, and if an audience member is disruptive, they will be given a warning. If the disruption continues, the audience member will be asked to leave. The board also stated if several attendees are disruptive, the board president can end the meeting or call a recess.
A press release from Noblesville Schools stated, “While public comment at board meetings is not legally required, Noblesville Schools recognizes the value of public input on matters involving the school corporation.”
Other rules state that public comments can’t reference specific employees, patrons or students; attendees are not permitted to bring in large bags or backpacks, which may be subject to inspection by a gun-detecting K-9 or law enforcement.; and proof of Noblesville residency will be required when registering to speak.
The school board recently shifted its meetings from in-person to virtual because of a rise in the district’s COVID-19 cases, and the virtual format will be evaluated on a regular basis. For more, visit noblesvilleschools.org.