Maine Group Wants to Limit Public Comment at School Board Meetings
I'm going to be honest here. Before I even dug into this I began feeling 'some type of way' after just seeing the headline. Especially as a parent in today's educational climate, I can't even begin to tell you how angry this made me.
But, before we make our final judgment on the headline, let's dive into what this is all about.
According to an article in the Kennebec Journal, the group that wants to limit certain speech is the Maine School Management Association.
The article goes on to explain that the group thinks it's important to 'limit' certain types of speech as well as certain topics during school board meetings across the state of Maine.
The Maine School Management Association says that policies should be adopted that 'prohibit' parents and others in the public from making complaints about specific members of school staff as well as complaints about specific students.
They also say that 'offensive speech' should be prohibited.
The Kennebec Journal cites the proposal of the new rules as coming on the heels of public comments that were made last year in the town of Rumford where a parent stood up and made comments about a particular Maine school including LGBTQ lessons as part of their 'radical homosexual agenda', the Kennebec Journal stated.
Part of the concern, according to the Maine School Management Association, is that school boards are increasingly having to deal with loud, nasty, false and accusing comments, the KJ included.
However, as one might imagine, advocates and supporters of the 1st amendment have a major problem with anyone attempting to limit any kind of speech. Opponents of the proposed limitations say that it is a 'slippery slope' and say that what is considered offensive to some may not be to others.
Some local school boards, including RSU 2 in Hallowell, are already moving forward with potential rule changes that would limit the amount of time parents have to stand and make public comment.
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