The board values and benefits from the wide range of perspectives in our community. As a regular practice at their regular monthly board meetings, the board requests and receives public comments as VPS boards have done routinely for decades. The purpose is to help inform the board of public interests and concerns.
State law requires that board meetings be open to the public, per RCW 28A.343.380. However, there is no legal requirement to provide an opportunity for public comments during a board meeting.
There also is no legal requirement for board meetings to be videotaped and broadcast to the community. The VPS board and staff have chosen to provide this service for expanded community access and public awareness of the board’s business.
VPS posts all of its videos to YouTube, because it is an industry-standard, universally available platform for sharing and accessing videos. It is designed to store and play back numerous large video files. The district website does not have that technical capability.
The VPS YouTube channels are subject to YouTube’s policies and guidelines. YouTube retains the right to remove videos that include content that violates its policies and guidelines. This was the case when the July 13, 2021, school board meeting was posted with public comments. YouTube removed the video for violation of its medical misinformation policy.
VPS will continue to post audio files from school board meetings to the BoardDocs platform, which is accessible through the district website. VPS also will explore other possible ways for the community to access board meeting videos, including playback on a Comcast local education access channel.
Additionally, the board intends to review its meeting protocols, such as how community members will be instructed to give public testimony, how much time will be allowed for each speaker and how the board will respond when speakers use profanity or interrupt the meeting.