Monday, October 18

Guidelines for audience behavior at Wichita School Board meetings


Tonight when many citizens may attend and speak at the meeting of the board of USD 259 (Wichita public school district), here’s a reminder of how to behave, according to past president and current member Betty Arnold.

When she was president of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, Betty Arnold let citizens know the real purpose of board meetings, and how citizens should behave.

At the meeting, citizens had criticized the board for large and important issues, but also for such mundane things as the amount of the superintendent’s monthly car allowance. Arnold admonished citizens for speaking about things like this in public. It’s not respectful, she said.

Finally, after directing a uniformed security guard to station himself near a citizen speaker, Arnold told the audience: “If we need to clear the room, we will clear the room. This board meeting is being held in public, but it is not for the public, or of the public. And I hope you understand that.”

She then reminded the speaker: “Again, I am asking your comments to please be respectful. No accusations are necessary.”

This certainly lets citizens know the applicability of the term public when it comes to our public schools.