It looks like I may have to sign off from this blog now that I am about to be officially sworn in as a School Board member. Here is an opinion from the Minnesota School Boards Association:
Your Question: One of our newly elected school board members would like to blog as a School Board member. He is concerned about whether other board members might read or be able to comment on his posts (and what might violate OML). He is also seeking guidance on ensuring that he does not inadvertently violate Open Meeting Law. He also wondered if he commented on a Facebook post that three other Board members might see, is it an OML violation? While I found the powerpoint presentation on OML on the MSBA site, I could not find anything specific on blogs or social media.
My Answer: These are bad ideas due to the potential for problems and illegal occurrences involving Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law and data privacy violations. Whenever school board members communicate outside an open meeting, the potential is raised for them to participate in an illegal meeting. Whenever a quorum or more of the school board members, a school board committee, or a school board subcommittee discuss something outside an open meeting, an illegal meeting (“serial meeting”) has occurred. Serial meetings are possible in person, on the telephone, by regular mail, or by electronic communications. There is no way to control it.
While I would like to be able to use blogging and social media to interact more effectively with the community I serve, Open Meeting Law seems, ironically, to force me to limit my efforts at open communication. Unfortunately, state law does not seem to have caught up to the realities of the 21st century connected world.