On the agenda for the December 8, 2020 Executive Session was a student disciplinary item. Could the parents of that student claim that the board failed to take action and therefore the matter is settled?
I did not attend the December 8, 2020 board meeting from its onset at 5:30PM, but I watched the video this morning.
Board Chair James Manning was not in attendance (in person), and the meeting was opened by the Acting Chair, Vice Chair Teresa Holmes. (I won't belabor the point here that she is not a legitimate board member and cannot serve as Vice Chair.)
Although she was elected to the board in November 2018 (and has never legally taken office), she also has not learned the protocol for conducting meetings. She's had plenty of time to learn some of the rules for running a meeting, as she could be called on at any time to substitute for the Board Chair.
When she opened the meeting at 5:30PM, she asked for a motion to enter Executive Session.
The superintendent interrupted and asked for a "point of privilege". The correct thing for him to do (and he should know this) is to wait to be acknowledged and to be granted permission by the (Acting) Chair. The Chair might or might not grant that privilege. However, he launched right into his request.
He asked that the board make a motion to remove an item from the agenda for the Executive Session. That was the correct form for his request, since the superintendent is not a board member and cannot make a motion.
Holmes then asked for a second. That was an error.
A board member needed to make the motion. Then, after a second and any discussion, there would have to be a vote.
Instead, a faint voice apparently indicated a second. Holmes failed to state who seconded the motion. There was no discussion. There was a hand vote and Manning, who was not present in person (but was attended by telephone), voted in the affirmative. (There had been no mention that he was attending by telephone!) Holmes stated that the motion passed but did not report the vote. The motion to remove the item from the Executive Session agenda and the vote were not shown to the public.
Then Holmes asked for a motion to go into Executive Session.
Because no board member made the motion to remove the student disciplinary issue from the agenda for the Executive Session, does this invalidate the removal of the item? Did it legally remain on the agenda? Were the student and parent(s) waiting to enter the Executive Session and be heard? Did the Board's failure to act on the agenda item result in a de facto decision in the student's favor?
At 6:00PM the open meeting was called to order by Holmes, and she asked for a vote to "come out of Executive Session." The vote was 7-0 to adjourn the Executive Session. There was no vote to re-convene the open session.
This board needs advice! Without a Parliamentarian, the Board often disregards protocol. The correct motion is to re-convene the open session, not to "come out of Executive Session." This error has been made for months.
Manning called back in, and his telephonic attendance was never disclosed to the public.
When will this Board schedule a intensive training session with the Robert's Rules of Order expert, Attorney Helen McFadden?