GCPS Changes Public Speaking Policy
Public comments now held after regular business on the board agenda.
The Gwinnett County school board has adopted a new procedure that will affect when the public can speak during board meetings.
Effective with the August meeting Thursday at Suwanee headquarters, people will not be able to address the board members until after regular business has been completed.
As a matter of policy, the board allows members of the public to be on the official agenda to address board members. This change means comments that could pertain to items on that agenda will not be heard until after the board deals with agenda items.
The school board also holds a public comments session before board meetings officially begin. These sessions now will be held 6:15-6:45 p.m. on board meeting days.
Also at the August meeting, the board could vote on a new land-acquisition policy; the matter is on the agenda but has been tabled at the past three meetings.
Last month the board and Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks received a report from an internal probe that it commissioned. That report, headed by former federal prosecutor Joe Whitley, showed some policy violations but no evidence of unethical or illegal behavior by anyone connected with GCPS.
Whitley's probe did not include subpoena power; compliance was voluntary, and some people declined to be interviewed for the investigation.
The school board has been delaying an official vote on a new land-deals policy until Whitley's report was complete and could be studied.