1st Amendment Questions

Donna Green, president of the School District Governance Association of NH, said she’s seen multiple instances of school boards writing unconstitutional ethics policies, including provisions that members cannot speak negatively against board actions – even if they voted against them – or not allowing board members to speak to the press.

Green should know – the Timberlane Regional School Board tried to implement similar policies when she was on the board, she said. Those policies were later rolled back after the ACLU got involved, Green said. Her history with the board has long been contentious; Green’s case that school budget and salary information be made public made its way to the Supreme Court, where she won. Green has since resigned from the board.

And Green said it can have a long-lasting effect on board’s ability to hear from their constituents.

“It’s chilling,” she said, “not just to board members who want to speak up, but to their constituents. The people they represent are being hampered by this.”

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