NYCDOE Curbs Public Speaking at Panel Meetings.

Panel Education Policy 5536525
Targeted educator

See letter sent by DTOE and Solidarity Caucus member to NYC Council:

Councilwoman Viverito,

The NYCDOE school community, composed of educators, students, parents and concerned citizens, are very grateful the NYC Council mandates that all NYCDOE Panel for Education Policy meetings are video recorded and live streamed. It brought us one big step closer to accountability, involvement and transparency. However, we are very disheartened to now see that the last three or four meetings include disruption by the panel and curbing of public speeches. Are we to understand that public speaking is allowed, but they can be selective of the content?

Please see the 39:00 minute mark on the official DOE December 18, 2014 video posted here:

and compare it to the one that was recorded live here

​Notice how the audio has also been removed by the DOE effectively muzzling the public?​ See how a citizen was stopped from raising concerns about workplace bullying and was then removed?
​Can you please address this?
Francesco A. Portelos
Educator –​
UFT Solidarity Caucus
​Don’t Tread on Educators

“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” –

 Greek Philosopher Diogenes


[UPDATE] From Robert Freeman, Director of the Committee on Open Government:

In brief, although the Open Meetings Law gives the public the right to attend, listen and observe, it is silent with respect to the right of the public to speak or otherwise participate during meetings.  If a public body, such as a board of education, does not want to permit the public to speak at all, that is within its authority.  Many boards, however, permit limited public participation, and if they do, it has been advised that they adopt reasonable rules that treat members of the public equally.  Those rules might limit the time that a person can speak, i.e., to 3 minutes; they might limit comments to items on an agenda; they might prohibit comments that focus on specific employees.  So long as those in attendance have the same privilege, a rule would likely be valid.

Response from New York City Communication

From: “Office of Correspondence Services”
Date: Dec 24, 2014 8:07 AM
Subject: NYC Council

Dear Mr. Portelos,

Thank you for your recent email to Speaker Mark-Viverito regarding the alleged curbing of speech at recent Panel for Education Policy meetings. We will be sure to share your concerns and allegations with the appropriate people here at the City Council, including the staff of the Council’s Education Committee.

Thanks again.

Office of Correspondence Services 
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito 
NYC Council

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