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DSUSD board president issues statement after unruly board meeting

A Desert Sands Unified School District meeting got a bit rowdy Tuesday night,

Most parents in attendance spoke out against the state's mandate to have all students wear mask in school. At one point, the crowd booed a person speaking out in favor of mask-wearing, prompting board president Donald B. Griffith to issue this warning:

"Ok listen everybody, under the Ed code and the penal code you must be respectful. We can clear the room and stop by public comment so I'm telling you right now you can either be quiet and listen to what everyone has to say or you'll be asked to leave," Griffith said.

After another hour of public comment, a speaker yielded her remaining time to another parent who had already spoken twice. The parent's mic was cut off and the crowd began yelling.

Griffith then announced the meeting was closed and the board left the room. Once the room was cleared, the board members returned and finished the meeting.

Griffith issued a statement on Wednesday in response to the meeting:

"In accordance with its bylaws and the requirements of the Brown Act, the Desert Sands Unified School District Board of Education encourages public participation and welcomes the comments and feedback offered by our community stakeholders, whether they are students, parents, district employees, or other interested citizens.  

Unfortunately, events at last night’s meeting included a disruption of the proceedings. The president of the DSUSD Board of Education, in compliance with Board Bylaws, requested a recess to allow members of the audience to clear the room. The bylaws are based on government meeting laws in the Education Code, Penal Code, and Government Code (Brown Act). These laws require the board to balance its duty to allow public participation with its duty to prevent disruption of the public’s business.   

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the DSUSD School Board will take place on Tuesday, August 31 in the boardroom of the District Education Center. The community is encouraged to bring their concerns before the board in an orderly and respectful manner in accordance with regulations prohibiting disruption of the Board’s public meetings."

Jesus Reyes

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