A video of a Minnesota school board meeting went viral Tuesday showing the chairwoman of the school board telling parents who wanted to speak to announce their home address, raising security concerns.
Jodi Sapp, the chairwoman of the Mankato school board, is seen in a video of the Oct. 18 meeting telling a man that he cannot speak if he doesn’t announce his address. The man immediately objected but eventually acquiesced after attempting to give vague answers citing concerns that his house would be a target for vandalism.
The viral video bleeps out the man’s address and notes that Sapp repeated the man’s address to ensure it could be heard.
Sapp had earlier announced that anyone who spoke during the open forum was not permitted to criticize members of the Mankato school board and that the school board meeting was “not a meeting that belongs to the public.”
If any speaker violated the rule, then the open forum would be immediately closed for the rest of the meeting and the offending individual would be barred from ever speaking at a future school board meeting.
Sapp also said that any audience reaction to forum commentary, including applause and cheering, would also result in the open forum being closed. The Minnesota-based Alpha News reported that the change in the open forum policy came after the school board’s Oct. 4 meeting in which a number of people spoke out against district mask mandates and vaccination policies and a number of audience members applauded community speakers.
Public commentaries at school board meetings have gained attention in recent months as parent protesting at school board meetings over the teaching of critical race theory and sexually explicit material has become increasingly commonplace.
There were no visible protesters at the Mankato meeting. Attempts to reach Sapp by phone were unsuccessful.
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Original Author: Jeremiah Poff