The board chair and first amendment
August 13, 2009
When the board chair speaks to an issue, the public and the media assume that the chair’s statement is the opinion of the entire board of education. Consequently, board chairs must be careful and clear when commenting on any issue in public or to reporters; they must clarify whether they are speaking for the board or expressing their own opinion.
Any discussion by the chair with union leadership will be interpreted as official action. There is no such thing as an informal conversation with union leadership when you are board chair. Everything will be considered part of negotiations. As in all cases, when in doubt, ask for legal advice.