School board adjusting policy to prevent members from criticizing board decisions

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At the Anchorage School Board meeting on Monday, a revised school board policy is set to be voted on that may continue to blunt the ability of any board member to criticize the actions of the board.

The rule, BB 9010, states that before a vote, a board member may present whatever evidence they may feel important to the matter at hand. But not after a vote.

“The School Board shall fully consider the implications and relevancy of all information so presented. All opinions, reactions and positions shall be openly discussed, so that each member may understand all aspects of the issue before the School board makes its decision. Any School Board member who may wish to criticize or oppose any specific School Board action should do so during the School Board meeting,” the rule explains.

Once a decision has been made, the school board members are not allowed to “misrepresent” that decision to the public.

“When School Board members express their opinions outside of the School Board meeting, it is their responsibility to respect the democratic nature of School Board decision-making and always identify personal viewpoints as such,” the rule reads.

“Public statements in the name of the School Board shall be issued by the School Board president or, if appropriate, by the Superintendent or designee at the direction of the School Board president,” it says.

The proposed rule is better than what now exists, which says board members must “abide” by whatever decision the board votes on. The word “abide” is hard to define and is a certain abridgment of a board member’s First Amendment rights, although the new description of “misrepresent” also may be constitutionally weak, if a board president rules with a heavy hand.

Dave Donley, the conservative member of the school board, has been trying to improve this section of the board’s governing rules, because he disagrees with so much of what the board passes.

A second rule change will allow the Anchorage School District superintendent to act as an ex officio member of the board, with the ability to “make incidental motions and speak to matters under consideration during Board deliberations.” The rule change would not allow the superintendent to vote, however.

The school board meeting begins at 6 pm. It may be watched at: https://www.youtube.com/c/AnchorageSchoolDistrictAK

In-person attendance is limited due to the board’s Covid mitigation policy. Documents and agenda items are at this link.

25 COMMENTS

  1. So then, what good is an opinion and a minority report? This is another attempt to arrest totalitarian control by majority Marxist members of the board. This is extremis action and extremely dangerous in a democratic society. Un-American and Third World mentality.

  2. Silence!! Thou shalt not speak, varlet! Thou shalt not dare criticize thy betters! In other words don’t cwiticise us because it huwts us’s feeeeeeeewings!!! Waaa waaaa waaa.

  3. In other words, be a good little sheep and don’t disagree with the masters. I imagine they will summon the FBI on any dissenters, and why not, this is what China and Russia do.

  4. If I were a member of the board which approved a policy, curriculum, or labor contract with which I disagreed, the board’s vote settles the issue. If I then proceed to lobby the public or other board members and express my opinion that the issues needs to be revisited, how would the new policy preclude my doing so? I am expressing my opinion, not that of the board, and the new policy does not appear to prohibit that provided I make it clear that my opinion is mine alone.

    However, that portion of the policy which says that “Any School Board member who may wish to criticize or oppose any specific School Board action should do so during the School Board meeting” could be a real problem. On its face it appears to prohibit discussion of a board proposal or policy by a member of the board and a member of the public outside of a board meeting. Both the board member and the public ought to be able to have a frank and freewheeling discussion outside of a board meeting at any mutually agreeable time.

    The term “misrepresent” could also be a problem. If the board approves a policy it believes will improve school performance and I argue that it is misguided and will yield a contrary result, am I then going to be accused of “misrepresenting” the policy? With this board, this policy could easily become a tool used to stifle dissent and further discussion.

    The liberal board majority likes neither criticism nor dissent. This look a bald attempt to suppress both.

  5. “The rule, BB 9010, states that before a vote, a board member may present whatever evidence they may feel important to the matter at hand. But not after a vote.”

    That’s ridiculous! How does anyone improve upon things if processes are not critiqued?

  6. Just what is the School Board so deathly afraid of?

    Dave Donley is free legal. His opinion should be honored, not disrespected.

    • If you added up the common sense IQ of the entire Marxist faction of the board, it would equal about 1/10th of Donley’s common sense IQ. No wonder this board wants to shut him up.

  7. Muzzle the school board members with dissenting opinions. What is wrong with this picture? Vote NO on any and all school bonds!

    • Call it the Donley rule.
      Here’s a thought. Make sane decisions. Sane decisions don’t get negative public comments.

        • Cut off the funding from the property taxpayers’ pocketbooks. I could post a litany of complaints about the school system, curriculum, excessive spending, etc., but we have heard it already. Most taxpayers pay their property taxes with their mortgage payment. How do we “make it hurt”? Something to think about when your taxes are rising and you are paying more for this abomination of a school district and the failed leadership! I don’t have the answer, but I’m sick of the swindle.

    • Your tax dollars at work. Property taxpayers should be outraged with the taxes we are paying for this abomination of the Anchorage School District! Tax me out of my home of 40 years for this abomination? Not!

  8. This is aimed squarely at Dave, not even thinly veiled. Blatantly shutting up opposition……that’s the cowards way out.

  9. The destruction of America by the left – it began at the local level, and that’s where we must focus to restore our Republic.

  10. The Anchorage School Board needs to be disbanded for the stability if the Anchorage Schools. Each school is perfectly capable of making decisions for the betterment of education without the input of the Anchorage Board. Just think how that would improve education for the children(alleviating the union), accountability of the principles and teachers of the schools and putting REAL subjects back in to schools where they belong. Try reading, writing, arithmatic, literature, REAL history, science and one study hall period to help tthose who need extra help.

  11. The email I sent to D. Bishop and the ASD School Board….
    To our Superintendent and our school board-

    The back and forth on the mask mandates within the school district is eliminating all confidence of parents in the district that anyone in the district actually knows what they are doing when it comes to making health care decisions for the children in ASD. Clearly pointing to the fact that parents should be making this decision for their own children, based on the advice of their own family health practitioners. Let the parents make this decision for their children. End the ASD mask mandate… enough is enough. Parents need to rally against this, pull their kids from enrollment, and vote down the ridiculous bonds that ASD demands of homeowners in Anchorage. The public actually does have a voice, and it is high time they were listened to by the Anchorage School Board.
    Speaking of a voice… and first amendment rights…. the school board members are ALL voted into place by the citizens of Anchorage, and I do not recall voting for a board “speaker of the house”. BB9010 is an outrageous attempt to silence the voices on the school board. No matter what policy is voted into place, it does not deny ANY board members from publicly saying their opinion on the policies or being forthright with the public on how they voted on such issues. If BB9010 is voted in you have eliminated free speech, as well as input from all board members. We elect board members and expect the diversity and difference of opinions to arise over issues- this policy is a direct attempt to squelch the free speech of any voting minority on the school board, and the board president has no place eliminating the voices or trying to control the board members in such a manner. You all have a duty to expect to hear and to consider criticism of your policies from board members AND the public! You are voted-for pubic servants! I was truly taken aback when I read about this “rule” and I hope that you will all quickly come to your senses and put this to bed…. critical analysis and voicing of opinions is exactly what the citizens of Anchorage EXPECT from their board members, and being outnumbered on a vote does not force any American citizen in to silence. How ridiculous would be if we as Americans were told to hold our tongues and never criticize a person in office that we did not vote for, ie: the President…. this is a dark and dangerous road you are heading down, and you should not be demanding solidarity of opinion and conformation by all, making “rules” to silence any opposition. I am appalled at the audacity of this even being presented as the desire of our school board.
    Two examples of too much power residing with one small group of people who are making decisions outside their scope, and NON representative of the voters of Anchorage, as well as parents in the school district.

    Here’s to freedom of speech! May none of you ever have the power to actually take it away from the fellow citizens that share your city,

    ***More of us need to speak up… every day that goes by the people in power seem to power grab for more… and the citizens stand by watching in silence.

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