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School policy seeks to stifle 'disruptions'

by Daniel Blackburn

You'd better watch your tongue around Redondo Beach Unified School District employees and board members.

Trustees on Oct. 26 will hear the third and final reading of a new policy aimed at preventing disruption or threat of disruption of school, office or school board operations. The proposed policy will also address any visitor who "use obscenities or speaks in a demanding, loud, threatening, insulting and/or demeaning manner."

The policy provides for notification of law enforcement officers if conduct of a visitor does not improve.

According to district officials, the policy "promotes mutual respect, civility and orderly conduct among district staff, parents and the public."

Intent of the policy is civility, not muzzling, officials stress.

The policy states that it "is not intended to deprive and person of his right to freedom of expression, but only to maintain, to the extent reasonable and possible, a safe, harassment-free workplace for students and staff,"

A frequent critic of the board, Greg Anderson, thinks the policy might be aimed at him and others whose comments to the board are often considered critical.

"What is loud and demanding and demeaning," said Anderson, "is left to individual board members to decide [under policy terms]. Every person has a right to demand certain items from the government."

Anderson called the policy "vague and overboard." ER

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