Addressing the Board

Addressing the Board During Business Meetings and Special Called Meetings

Members of the public who want to address the Board may do so at regular Business Meetings and Special Called Meetings. Public comment is not permitted at Board Work Sessions or Board Committee Meetings.

Sign up to speak

A sign-up sheet for public comment will be offered 30 minutes before each Business Meeting and Special Called Meeting. The sign-up sheet will be closed/removed at the start of the meeting. This sign-up sheet is located at the entryway table, just past the security checkpoint.

Only those members of the public who sign up before the meeting begins will be permitted to address the Board. Public comments will be taken in the order in which they are listed on the sign-up sheet.

Members of the public addressing the Board must submit their name and home address, along with the organization they are representing if applicable.

*Public comments will be read in the order in which they are received and in accordance with Board Policy 0000 School Board Meetings: Section IV. Public comments will share the 30-minute time slot, in equal increments, not to exceed three minutes each. In the event that a public comment is not read in its entirety within the 30-minute time period, a full copy will be given to Board members.

Public Comment Period

The public comment period is designed to gain input from the public and not for immediate responses by the Board. While the Board cannot assure each speaker will receive a direct response, the Board will consider comments and supporting materials the speakers provide.

The public comment period will end after 30 minutes or when all speakers signed up to speak have been heard—whichever occurs first.

Public comments will be limited to up to three minutes per person. No recognized speaker may yield his/her time to another speaker. According to policy, the Board chair can limit the following:

  • A speaker's time to comment;
  • The number of speakers commenting on the same topic; and
  • The number of speakers representing the same group or organization.

Rules for speakers

Speakers will be introduced by the Board chair at the correct time during the meeting. Speakers must state their name, home address, organization represented, if any, and subject of their presentation before they can proceed.

Speakers may offer objective comments about school operations and programs that concern them. Speakers are asked to refrain from using names of personnel or names of persons connected with the school system, particularly when lodging a complaint.

Speakers are not permitted to engage in gossip, make defamatory comments, or use abusive or vulgar language. The Board chair has the authority to terminate the remarks of any individual who is disruptive or does not adhere to Board rules.

Tune in to Board meetings

The general public can tune into the live broadcast of Work Sessions, Regular Business Meetings, or Special Called Meetings via the following District channels:

All Business Meetings, Special Called Meetings and Work Sessions that are subject to the Tennessee Open Meetings law will be broadcast live or tape-delayed via radio and/or television.

Legal Reference: T.C.A. § 8-44-102

Please contact the Board Office to learn more.

Memphis-Shelby County Schools
c/o The Board Office
160 S. Hollywood Street
Memphis, TN 38112

The Board Office
Phone: (901) 416-5447
Fax: (901) 416-9787
[email protected]

Back to top

Website Accessibility Menu

Resize Text

Website Theme

Text Align


Line Height



Highlight Links

Website Accessibility Notice