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Richmond Co. School District to address questions at public forum

August 20, 2011

RICHMOND CTY, Ga. -- The Richmond County School District will hold a public forum Tuesday.

The forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Academy of Richmond County auditorium.

The forum will address issues of public concern or public interest to include such topics as registration, classes, curriculum, discipline procedures, transportation, communication and other similar matters of public interest.

The Richmond County School District has issued these guidelines:

The forum shall last one and one half (1.5) hours from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The moderator will be chosen by the Board of Education.

It is requested that questions be provided in writing in advance to Crystal Jackson, Board Secretary, at rcss@boe.richmond.k12.ga.us or (706) 826-1000 ext. 3406.

While it is expected that most questions will be received in advance, to facilitate fairness and efficiency of the forum, blank index cards and pens will be available at the forum location.

School representatives will be available to assist the public in having their questions written and delivered to the moderator.

The moderator and school officials will sort these questions to avoid duplication.

Board Members and the public will be informed of the number of questions common to a specific concern.

School representatives will be present 30 minutes prior to the forum start time to answer any questions that may be personal or specific to the person asking the question as opposed to a matter of public concern or public interest.

The moderator will first answer the questions submitted in advance; and, then present those written questions submitted at the forum, to the extent time permits.

All questions which have been submitted in advance or in writing at the forum shall be answered first. Written questions submitted at the forum shall be answered second.

After all of the written questions have been answered, if there are additional follow-up questions, forum time permitting, they may be asked orally. The person wishing to ask a follow up question orally shall be recognized and shall speak from the microphone provided. The follow up questions shall be on matters of public concern as opposed to any individual or personal concern.

Each person asking a follow-up question orally will be limited to three to five minutes.

The moderator will not allow questions that may violate FERPA, the privacy rights of students, which will tend to hold any individual up to public ridicule or which address non-public employment issues. It is hoped the public understands that certain issues cannot be addressed in public.

Individual concerns or personal concerns may be addressed individually with school representatives who may be present, but not as part of the public forum.

If these personal questions cannot be answered immediately, the school representative shall promptly secure the answer and call the individual the next day.

The above guidelines are put in place to provide for an orderly process and to allow as many questions as possible to be addressed by the appropriate individual with knowledge of that subject matter.

The moderator will facilitate civility and these guidelines. The audience is requested to demonstrate respect to all of the speakers or responders participating in the forum.

Speakers and responders are expected to respect the audience.

The school system welcomes the opportunity to answer questions which are a matter of public interest. Please understand that school officials cannot address issues that are protected from public disclosure. It is hoped this forum is successful and may lead to future forums.


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