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School board questions legality of online forum


A demonstration of a new online forum for members of the Brush, Colo., Board of Education was cut short last week when board members questioned whether they could legally use the program under the Colorado Open Meetings Law, reports the Brush News-Tribune. The board had previously directed Brush School District Technology Director Randy Dalton to create the forum, which would have enabled board members to engage in private discussions online.  Dalton attended a Sept. 7 board meeting to demonstrate the possible uses of the program. “I don’t think we can use it,” said board member Mike Dixon. “I think as long as we’re using it in this fashion, it is right on its face a violation of the sunshine law.” School District Superintendent Priscilla Huston said she had already discussed the forum with school district attorney Darryl Farrington, who was concerned that individual board members would have the ability to communicate with the rest of the board through a reply-all function. “You can have a conversation between two people, but you can’t send the information out and then hear from a variety of people on that topic that would go out to everyone,” she said. “It’s considered a meeting if you do.” Dixon said the forum should only be used to distribute documents, such as meeting agendas, to the board. He said he thought this was the original intent of implementing the program. Board members also discussed the possibility of allowing the superintendent to post information in the forum, but disabling the ability of board members to reply…

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