Board Can't (or Won't) Explain When, Where, How, and Why It Decided to Adopt Controversial Advertising Policies
Public Comments to the Board, August 20, 2007 by Renee Engelhart
During last month’s Board meeting, I said that the Board would be acting upon a set of advertising policies that was different from the set of policies it had previously indicated it would be adopting.
In response to my comment, Mr. Scheufler said “To state that the Board committed to a different draft than is approved here, is not an accurate statement.”
I never said the Board committed to any one draft of the policy. I said the board “indicated it would be adopting a policy,” which is not the same thing as committing itself to a policy.
Now, since September, 2005 (nearly two years ago) the ONLY time the Board discussed any policies that address advertising was during its April 24, 2006 meeting.
Coincidentally, it was during that same April 24th meeting when I announced the publishing of my website, schoolboardwatchdog.com. As the Board knows, on my website I publish criticism of, among other things, the Board’s work on the advertising policies. And ever since the launch of my website, the Board did not ever again discuss or even bring up, at a public meeting, any policies that address advertising.
I’ve asked Mrs. Obratil and Dr. Diringer for minutes of the Board Policy Review Committee’s meetings, but neither of them was able to provide that for me.
Since there are, apparently, no public records of the Board discussing the new set of policies that address advertising which the Board unanimously agreed to adopt during last month’s meeting, there are four things I would like to know:
When, where, why and how did the Board decide to adopt the new “Commercial Advertising” and “Relations with Special Interest Groups” policies, because that wasn’t done during a public meeting.
According to the law, the Board is required to make its deliberations on official business during a pubic meeting before any action is formally taken by the Board. If the Board does not answer my question, and if the Board does not say where there is a public record of any discussions that took place which led to the adoption of the advertising policies, it will appear that either there was no thought or reasoning put into the decision to adopt those policies, or the deliberations were done behind closed doors, in which case, the Board's adoption of those policies would be illegitimate and invalid.
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