BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The Brevard County School Board voted in favor of changing their public speaking policy Tuesday by a vote of 3-2.

What You Need To Know

  •  The Brevard County School Board voted Tuesday 3-2 to change its public speaking policy

  •  The move will give the board more control over when certain topics are discussed by the public during meetings

  • Some residents claimed the move stifled public input, while others said it would greatly improve the general atmosphere during meetings

Reasons given for the change were to: shorten the length of meetings, ensure the meeting continues to run smoothly, and keep public speakers from commenting on items not on the agenda.

Previously, speakers could take three minutes in open forum with no restrictions on topics. 

Now, the school board will determine the length someone can speak in open forum based on how many sign up to speak; move non-agenda open forum speakers to the end of the meeting; prohibit people from raising signs during a meeting that would block a camera; and turn the cameras off after agenda items are completed.

Members of the public had mixed feelings on the move.

“We are suppose to have robust back and forth between our leaders and the citizens," said Brevard County Public Schools parent Katie Delaney. "This is our government — this is not their government, they are not our rulers.”

Tamsin Wright, a mother of two, said she supports the changes.

“I am all for an environment inside of the board room where people are able to do their jobs," she said. "I don’t think that we need screaming.”

The policy will be revisited in a few weeks.

Board members seemed in favor of keeping the live stream up at the end of the meeting for open forum speakers that don't speak to agenda items. However, they could not amend the policy that was on the table to vote on tonight.