SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The Scottsdale Unified School District sent a letter to parents and staff Monday explaining some of the changes that will be made for their regular board meeting Tuesday.
A special meeting was held last week, where board members voted 4-1 in favor of a mask mandate. The letter sent out today states, "in the intervening days, there has been some confusion regarding the difference between a public hearing and a public comment that we would like to clarify. It is SUSD's practice to take public comment only at the regular meetings of the Governing Board. The district does not take public comment at special meetings, and it is not required to do so under Arizona Open Meetings Law."
When public hearings are required, those are conducted separately on the agenda and any member of the public can speak to the specific topic that is being discussed.
To keep the peace and stay the course of the discussion, the Governing Board held a virtual public hearing this evening to discuss the Instructional Time Model, which will be voted on Tuesday. At the end of the meeting, parents and staff could call in with any questions regarding that topic. For the most part, the two callers stayed the course, but one couldn't hold back on how they felt.
"It's an absolute disgrace that you guys are not holding meetings in person. Let's get back to in person meetings. The parents want to interact in person and not online," the parent said.
For the regular board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24, it will be held in-person at Coronado High School. Staff members who are needed to address specific agenda items will be allowed in the room, however the public will not be allowed inside. Once the public comment section of the meeting starts, one individual at a time will be invited in to address the Governing Board. Masks are required inside the boardroom.
SUSD said they came up with this decision after discussions with Scottsdale police in light of past experiences.
In May, the Governing Board had to recess its meeting after members of the public refused to wear a mask as required by the district.
Last week, during the special meeting that was being held virtually, one person was arrested during the protest outside of the district headquarters. SUSD said that person was not an SUSD parent and was not a Scottsdale resident.
SUSD also said in their letter that "many of the people who created disruption at the May 18 meeting were also not from Scottsdale, and social media chatter indicates that it is likely they will return for tomorrow's meeting.
The meeting Tuesday starts at 6 .pm.