AURORA | The Cherry Creek School District revised its public comment policy to clarify that speakers must reside within the district or have some connection to Cherry Creek.
The updated policy was voted on unanimously as part of the consent agenda at Monday’s school board meeting. In order to be eligible to address the board speakers must be:
-residents of the district
-parents of currently enrolled students
-current or former district students
-current district employees, or
-individuals invited by the board or superintendent to address a specific topic
District spokesperson Abbe Smith said that there have been numerous instances over the past several months of people coming to speak at the board meetings who do not live in the area and are not connected to the district. Several of the board’s past meetings have been dominated by hours of contentious public comment about mask mandates and critical race theory.
The policy also states that the board has the authority to limit the total amount of public comment time at meetings. Sonja McKenzie, Cherry Creek’s legal counsel, said that was more of a clarification than a change since the board has always had that power.
Under the new guidelines, speakers must sign up by noon on the day of the meeting and provide their full name, address, phone number and email address.