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Schools not exempt from open meeting demands

February 22, 2013

School boards are finding that their open meeting needs are just as great as those of local government offices, according to The Tennessean. Transparency and open government experts are noting that school safety meetings are subject to the same laws that govern public town board meetings, despite arguments from county leaders.

According to the news source, some government leaders in Sumner county are looking to close school safety meetings to the public because they feel publicity could highlight vulnerabilities in the discussed plans.

"We're a little concerned ... about the fact that we are going to be discussing specifics about school security in a public forum," Emergency Services Chairman Jim Vaughn told the source.

However, open government advocates argue that under current state laws, the meetings have to be held in a public forum.

Any type of local council or school board meeting that discusses topics pertinent to citizens should be as open as possible to better inform the public and keep citizenry involved in local affairs. Even if a board or council doesn't want to host the meetings in public, investing in meeting management software solutions can enhance the organization of the information covered and make it easier to provide access after the fact.