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At Monday’s school board meeting, Ankeny Community School District personnel turned away individuals who wanted to listen to the meeting in-person. The only way to watch was virtual.

The Iowa Standard asked if media was also prohibited from attending in-person. The woman said members of the media are allowed in virtually.

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She said there are rules to get on the agenda and there is no right to speak at these meetings.

“Ankeny is allowing you all the right to speak,” she said.

The Iowa Standard asked for a copy of the written policy regarding who can attend a school board meeting in-person.

The employee said she didn’t think there is a written policy, but it’s a policy for public meetings.

She maintained that nobody was being kept out of the public meeting.

When asked if anyone was in the meeting who isn’t a board member, she said the administration was attending. When asked if anyone other than the board and administration was attending, she said legal counsel would be in there.

Then as the volleyball team walked out of the meeting, they admitted the volleyball team was allowed to be at the meeting in-person for recognition.

The employee suggested members of the media sit out in their car, watch the meeting on their phones and then try to ask board members questions as they walked out of the building.

One obvious question — what about taxpayers who don’t have access to the internet? How can they attend such a board meeting?

Author: Jacob Hall

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