#ncga: Giving school boards judicial powers ???

That’s what it appears House Bill 561 does: biggovt

[…] Power to Subpoena and to Punish for Contempt. – Local boards of education shall have power to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses.witnesses and for the production of all tangible things, including, but not limited to, documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic communications, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics.

Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses may be issued in  any and all matters which may lawfully come within the powers of the board and which, in the discretion of the board, require investigation;investigation. and it shall be the duty of the sheriff or any process serving officer to serve such subpoena upon payment of their lawful fees. Subpoenas for the production of tangible things may be issued in matters where an employee is suspected of committing job-related misconduct and which, in the discretion of the board or superintendent, require investigation. It shall be the duty of the sheriff or any process serving  officer to serve such subpoena upon payment of their lawful fees.

Local boards of education shall have power to punish for contempt for any disorderly conduct or disturbance tending to disrupt them in the transaction of official business.”  SECTION 3. This act becomes effective October 1, 2015. 

How do we define “disorderly conduct”’ or “disturbance”? Would all of those people who protested the ouster of Moore County Superintendent Bob Grimesey get classified as “disorderly”? judge

What does contempt mean?  Can my school board chairman have me jailed if I, say, publicly and verbally question his mental capacity?  Can Chuck Suter be hauled off by deputies if he refuses to turn off his camera at a public meeting? 

We’re heading down a dangerous path giving judicial / law enforcement powers to people who are not trained (or elected) to perform judicial / law enforcement activities.  Are we really ready to move school boards from approving curriculum and lunch menus to wide-open judicial inquisitions?

This smells like a great way to kill any transparency efforts.  Keep potential scandals in-house and under wraps.


 Republican Hugh Blackwell and Democrat Rick Glazier are behind this atrocity.  Hopefully, this legislation will die a quick, painless death.  It’s a really bad idea. 

5 thoughts on “#ncga: Giving school boards judicial powers ???

  1. Not a good idea as this would cost somewhere in the range of $876,008,567 per year. The school boards across the state would hire at least 269 people per district on average to deal with this. Then each district would have to build a new building to house these departments. Then the super would have to hire 6 additional secretaries to monitor these new people.

    And this is a low estimate.

    And think about all the extra load on the server when all these people get on Facebook.

  2. In most districts, this would mean giving this power to the superintendant, as so many school boards seem to see the superintendant as their boss instead of realizing that they are his boss. This bill is a police state measure that is downright Orwellian.

  3. “This smells like a great way to kill any transparency efforts.”

    Well actually, this smells like an INTENTIONAL way to kill any transparency efforts. Furthermore, there are School Boards, and there are Law Enforcement agencies, Prosecutors, and Courts. They serve different functions in our government and DO NOT NEED any “blurred lines of authority.” Totally unnecessary legislation.

    Would School Boards next get paramilitary SWAT teams and military surplus Armored Personnel Carriers with 50-cal guns mounted on top?

  4. Worst idea EVER.

    There is a reason each district has an attorney. The board itself should not have these abilities.

    School board hearings are already run like mini-war tribunals.

    This is a very intentional way to kill transparency and the rights of the public — the language in the very first section makes that crystal clear.

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