Are individuals allowed to campaign on the community college, school district or ESD campus, or in district facilities of the institution for which they are seeking a board seat, or during school events which the public attends? Can they distribute flyers on the institution’s property criticizing the current administration and saying ‘Vote for XYZ for the board’?
June 3, 2011
The first step is to determine whether your campus is an ‘open’ or ‘closed’ forum. Do you generally restrict material that can be distributed, regardless of the topic? If you do, then you have a closed forum and you can restrict this using the same standards. If you do not, then you have an open forum and you must allow this material as well. Check your policies to see how you handle distribution of information on any topic, or campaigning for other political issues on your property and at your events. You treat this situation exactly the same way. The fact that someone is running for a board seat or that the material is critical of current board members or administration should not influence how you handle the campaigning. You can forbid any campaigning at the board meeting, as long as the prohibition applies to everyone equally. If you allow statements by candidates at board meetings all candidates must be invited and given equal time and opportunity to speak.
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