Open Meeting Laws

Over the past several weeks, many community members, parents and faculty have asked about Massachusetts Open Meeting Laws and Public Comment.

The Open Meeting Laws apply to all public meetings. School Committee meetings are public meetings at any member of the public is allowed to attend. Executive Sessions may be called during a public meeting. The law gives 10 specific purposes for an executive session.

According to the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey,

Under the Open Meeting Law, the public is permitted to attend meetings of public bodies but is excluded from an executive session that is called for a valid purpose listed in the law. While the public is permitted to attend an open meeting, an individual may not address the public body without permission of the chair. An individual may not disrupt a meeting of a public body, and at the request of the chair, all members of the public shall be silent. If, after clear warning, a person continues to be disruptive, the chair may order the person to leave the meeting. If the person does not leave, the chair may authorize a constable or other officer to remove the person. Although public participation is entirely within the chair’s discretion, the Attorney General encourages public bodies to allow as much public participation as time permits.

For more information go to: Open Meeting Law Guide and Educational Materials

Agendas From Other Districts