JONESBORO — Following an hour-long meeting behind closed doors, one public participant addressed the board at Monday night’s Clayton County BOE meeting and requested executive session be moved toward the end of the monthly meetings.
Sid Chapman, president of the Clayton County Education Association, addressed the board during public participation and asked it to consider the move because he thinks it was inconsiderate toward the parents and students in attendance.
“Very often the participants are parents, and then those who do recognitions are often students,” Chapman said. “And so, they’d go into executive session for an hour, hour and a half, before they come back in and they’ve just sat out there that whole time. I just think it’s unfair to do that.”
Executive Session tends to be as short as 15 minutes or last as long as two hours, depending on the topic up for discussion such as personnel issues, student tribunals and pending litigation.
“Usually the ones that are die-hards stay for the whole thing as part of their duties like mine; they stay through it,” Chapman said. “But when you have folks there that are waiting for some kind of recognition, I think it’s not a good idea.”
In the past, executive sessions were held at the end of the meetings but were changed for reasons unknown. Efforts to reach former BOE chairwoman Ericka Davis and current chairwoman Pam Adamson for explanation were not immediately returned.
A government agency is not required to close any meeting. However it may vote in public to close a meeting and continue in executive session.
The Open Meetings Act requires the keeping of minutes of closed meetings but they do not become public unless the agency consents or is ordered by the court.