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Gateway teachers union threatens legal action if trustees fail to comply with state open meeting law

The Gateway Teachers Association, which represents teachers at the Gateway Unified School District in Redding, says trustees violated the state’s open meeting law during a school board meeting on Jan. 4 and they are threatening legal action if it happens again.

School board members had whispered conversations during an open session discussion about recruiting a new superintendent and took formal action without allowing public comment, according to a cease and desist letter from the union to the board.

The letter demands the board rescind the action taken in regard to the superintendent search that night. It also referenced the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law, and insisted the board allow public comment before action is taken on any item and that it refrain from having secret communications.

“Last week’s dismissal of public comment is not only unlawful and undemocratic, but it’s a blatant sign of disrespect to the community members in the district,” stated a press release from the union. “We call on the GUSD Board of Trustees to seek formal training on how to run a meeting to ensure that members of the public have an opportunity to discuss any item of interest. “