Which executive sessions can the press be barred from attending?

ORS 192.660(2)(4) describes the cases where the press can be barred from attending executive session meetings. The press must be allowed to attend all executive session board meetings except for: 

  • Student Expulsions ORS 332.061
  • Board meetings with labor negotiators to discuss bargaining strategies ORS 192.660(2)(d)
  • Board discussions which include a student’s medical or educational records ORS 332.061
  • Board discussions of litigation against the district or community college in which the reporter or the reporter’s media organization is involved. ORS 192.660(2)(h)

Actual labor union bargaining sessions where both parties (management and union) have formally agreed to hold the sessions not in public may be held without notifying or allowing the press to attend. If both parties agree to hold public negotiations, then all public meetings laws must be followed and the press may attend.

The statutes I have referred to are below.

ORS 192.660(2)

(4) Representatives of the news media shall be allowed to attend executive sessions other than those held under subsection (2)(d) of this section relating to labor negotiations or executive session held pursuant to ORS 332.061 (2) but the governing body may require that specified information be undisclosed.

(5) When a governing body convenes an executive session under subsection (2)(h) of this section relating to conferring with counsel on current litigation or litigation likely to be filed, the governing body shall bar any member of the news media from attending the executive session if the member of the news media is a party to the litigation or is an employee, agent or contractor of a news media organization that is a party to the litigation.

ORS 332.061

Hearing to expel minor students or to examine confidential medical records; exceptions to public meetings law. Notwithstanding ORS 192.610 to 192.690 governing public meetings:

(1) Any hearing held by a district school board or its hearings officer on any of the following matters shall be conducted in executive session of the board or privately by the hearings officer unless the student or the student’s parent or guardian requests a public hearing:

(a) Expulsion of a minor student from a public elementary or secondary school.  (b) Matters pertaining to or examination of the confidential medical records of a student, including that student’s educational program.

(2) If an executive session is held by a district school board or a private hearing is held by its hearings officer under this section, the following shall not be made public:

(a) The name of the minor student. (b) The issue, including a student’s confidential medical records and that student’s educational program. (c) The discussion. (d) The school board member’s vote on the issue.

(3) The school board members may vote in an executive session conducted pursuant to this section. [1975 c.276 §1; 1987 c.841 §1]

For more information on this question, Ask Betsy's Team.