“The Round Rock Independent School District’s Board of Trustees, at a meeting on January 24, 2019, took action on two matters to provide specificity to rules already in effect regarding authority to speak on behalf of the Board or the District. Because these actions have been interpreted by some as a violation of Trustees’ First Amendment rights, we thought it necessary to clarify.
“The motions approved last week do not prohibit individual Trustees from speaking to members of the media or legislators when speaking for himself or herself and, in fact, do not include any substantive changes to rules already in existence. Board Policy GBBA (Local) and Board Operating Procedures already permitted the Board to designate a spokesperson when speaking for the Board as a whole or the District.
“The language of the motions are below. They (and the protocols already in place) are specific to designating the Board’s representatives or coordinating to advance the District’s legislative agenda and are not meant to silence individual Trustees.”
Media Protocol motion
I move to designate the President as our Board’s spokesperson with the media, and if the President is unavailable, the Vice President is hereby so designated, and if the Vice President is unavailable, the Secretary is hereby so designated, or someone designated by the Board in policy and Board operating procedures.
Legislative Advocacy motion
I move that all Board advocacy and communication with the Legislature on behalf of the District be coordinated with direction of the District’s Legislative consultant.
“As a Board, we believe that it is important that we act as a body corporate once decisions have been made. While we are all individually elected and hold diverse points of view, we believe it is in the best interest of the District for our debate to take place in open meetings, before the public, when important matters are being deliberated. This is the most appropriate venue for those discussions to take place so that we can form a consensus on the best course forward for our more than 50,000 students and our Round Rock ISD community. Selecting a spokesperson helps us communicate the Board’s unified direction efficiently and effectively. However, it is not intended to silence individual Trustees who may have divergent personal opinions.”
- Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees President Chad Chadwell