Sun-Sentinel by Susannah Bryan
January 29, 2019
Parkland parents still recovering from one of the worst school shootings in the nation’s history will get their promised meetings with Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie — but no one else will be allowed.
Only the parents are invited. Not their childen. Not the media. Not even BECON-TV, the district’s own Broward Educational Communications Network, will be permitted entrance.
“The parent meetings are not open to the public,” Kathy Koch, chief spokeswoman for the school district, said Tuesday. “We wanted them to be able to speak in privacy. We want to give them the opportunity to speak without the influence of the greater public, the protesters and the media.”
However, the legality of such meetings is in question.
All nine board members can attend, district officials said during a workshop Tuesday.
But only newest board member Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, will be allowed to speak.
The other board members, if they come, will be required to sit in silence.
Barbara Myrick, attorney for the school district, says board members will not be taking any official action or discussing topics they will vote on later — and that makes it kosher for the district to keep things private.
But that’s not how others see it.
“I don’t see how you can have two board members present at that meeting and not be in violation of the Sunshine Law,” said media attorney Tom Julin.
If two school board members are at a meeting and one speaks, Julin said it could create a problem under the Sunshine Law if matters that could later come in front of the school board are discussed.