The Pennsbury School District (Bucks County, Penn.) learned an expensive lesson last year, after it curtailed public comments by four men at school board meetings.
In November 2021 a Federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge (Ms.) Gene Pratter, ordered that school district to "stop enforcing its policy prohibiting abusive, offensive, or personally directed public comments".
The Pennsbury School District's insurance carrier got stuck with the bill. Too bad the $300,000 wasn't charged to the board members
A lawyer at the Institute for Free Speech (Washington, DC) is quoted as saying, “School boards across the country should take note. Rules for public comments must respect the First Amendment rights of speakers. If you are limiting which opinions may be shared, you’ll be held liable for violating First Amendment rights,”
Richland 2 resident, Gary Ginn, has often mentioned the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution at Richland 2 School Board meeting.
Can you count the number of times in the 2021-2022 just ended School Year that past-Chair Teresa Holmes warned public speakers about using names?
After speakers and even board members told her she was wrong, Holmes continued to apply Board Policy BEDH incorrectly. That board policy prohibits "any expression of personal complaints about individual school personnel or any other person connected with the school system."
It does not prohibit mentioning names of school personnel.
Is that provision in BEDH unconstitutional?
Many thanks to the reader who sent this article to me. You know who you are.
Can Richland 2 learn from the mistakes of others?