In-person school board meetings in doubt after investigation

Sept. 2022: Yelling during public testimony, arguments between attendees and board members, and an altercation in the parking lot at the Aug. 9 Salem-Keizer Public Schools board meeting led to an indefinite virtual-only option for public participation.

This is the second time in two years that Salem-Keizer has made meetings virtual out of safety concerns not related to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s unclear how long the moratorium on in-person meetings — where anyone from the public can attend and speak — will last. Mediation between groups has yet to be initiated.

For now, board members, district leaders and the news media can meet in person, but others must watch the meetings on TV or online and participate via Zoom, phone or written testimony.

The events that played out most recently came after tensions boiled over between community groups that fall into competing ideologies — an issue happening in school board meetings across the country.

Read the in-depth story here.

Published by Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She wrote about education for more than seven years at the Statesman Journal and now covers education and other topics throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is originally from Colorado and earned her B.A. in Politics and French from Willamette University.

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