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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Bylaw 1-48


Decorum and Order-School Board Meetings

  1. Purpose of decorum during meetings

    It is the intent of the School Board by adoption of this Bylaw to maintain appropriate decorum and order for, but not limited to the following purposes:

    1. to ensure that the affairs of the School Board and School Board Committees may be conducted in an open and orderly manner during meetings;
    2. that all persons desiring to address the School Board are afforded an opportunity to do so in the order in which they sign up to speak;
    3. that persons in attendance may observe and hear the proceedings of the School Board without distraction;
    4. that students and other young audience members who attend or watch such meetings are not subject to inappropriate language or conduct;
    5. that School Board Members and School Division employees or other agents are able to transact the business of the School Board with minimal disruption while allowing for public input.
  2. Limitations on addressing the School Board

    Persons addressing the School Board shall:

    1. Confine their comments to matters germane to the business of the School Board.
    2. Refrain from obscenity, vulgarity, and comments or actions with the intent to incite violence or other breach of peace.
    3. Comply with the time limits for public comment set forth in Appendix B of the Bylaws.
  3. Other expressive activities during meetings

    Expressive activities including, but not limited to, petitioning, picketing, displaying signs or posters, solicitation, demonstrating, pamphlet distribution, and conducting polls shall not be permitted in the School Board Chambers, the School Board conference room, the waiting areas and corridors adjacent to the School Board Chambers and School Board conference room, the School Administration building, or in any school building while a School Board meeting is happening.

  4. Other methods of communicating with the School Board

    The School Board encourages citizens and other interested parties to communicate with the School Board regarding matters related to public education. Due to the limited time scheduled to conduct business and the need to follow approved agenda items, School Board meetings may not be conducive for all forms of communication to the School Board. Persons seeking to communicate with the School Board may contact School Board Members through other methods of communication, including, as well as in addition to those provided at School Board meetings.

    This Bylaw does not preclude persons addressing the School Board from delivering the School Board or its Clerk written materials including reports, statements, exhibits, letters, or signed petitions. Nor does this Bylaw preclude those addressing the School Board from using a chart or graph during their verbal presentation. Furthermore, nothing herein shall be interpreted to prohibit citizens from addressing oral or written comments or complaints on any subject germane to the business of the School Board to the School Board, its constituent members, the Clerk of the School Board or the School Administration outside the context of the public meeting.

  5. The Chairman or other presiding officer shall preserve decorum and shall decide all questions of public order, subject to appeal to the School Board.
  6. No person attending a meeting of the School Board, in any capacity, shall use, or allow to sound, any device in a manner that disrupts the conduct of business within the room in which the School Board or a Committee thereof is meeting. Notice of this restriction shall be posted outside of School Board Chambers and on the agenda for any School Board meeting.
  7. At the request of the Chairman or Superintendent, a city police officer shall act as sergeant-at-arms at all School Board meetings. That officer shall, under the direction of the Chairman or other presiding officer, have charge of the School Board Chambers, the School Board conference room, the waiting areas and corridors adjacent thereto, and the School Administration Building, and shall prevent disorder or interruption of the business of the School Board.

Editor's Note

See Bylaw 1-47 Public Comments at School Board Meetings; Division Policy 7-16 Expressive Activities

Code of Virginia §18.2-128, as amended. Trespass upon church or school property.

Code of Virginia §18.2-404, as amended. Punishment for using abusive language to another.

Code of Virginia §18.2-406, as amended. What constitutes an unlawful assembly; punishment.

Code of Virginia § 18.2-415, as amended. Disorderly conduct in public places.

Virginia Beach City Code § 23-14, as amended. Disorderly Conduct in public places.

Adopted by School Board: January 20, 1998
Amended by School Board: August 17, 1999
Amended by School Board: October 17, 2000
Amended by School Board: February 20, 2001
Revised by Order of United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia: May 18, 2001
Amended by School Board: August 18, 2015
Amended by School Board: August 2, 2016
Amended by School Board: March 27, 2018