The Clark County School District Board of Trustees (CCSD) is proposing changes to its Public Speaking Guidelines. At the September 24, 2009 meeting, the Board considered the following warning to be given to speakers:
Public comment, the content of which is irrelevant, beyond the authority of the board, willfully disruptive of the meeting, repetitious, slanderous, offensive, inflammatory, irrational, amounts to personal attacks or interferes with the rights of other speakers, is prohibited.
The ACLU of Nevada strongly urges against the adoption of this, or any, CCSD regulation which gives School Board members the discretion to limit or prohibit public comment based on the content.
Allowing School Board members such power violates Nevada's Open Meeting Law, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as free speech protections contained in the Nevada Constitution. A board member's determination that a comment is "offensive" is not an adequate justification to limit the right of a member of the public to comment at public meetings and to share their views of elected officials are doing.
Indeed, limiting pubic comment in such a way constitutes censorship.