Court won't punish Wake school board for requiring tickets at meeting
Posted April 19, 2011 2:39 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday against any punishment for the Wake County Wake County Board of Education in a case involving access to public meetings.
A group of parents and citizens filed suit in May saying that the board violated a state law by requiring tickets to its meeting on March 23, 2010.
Citing fire-safety concerns and complaints, the board distributed tickets to the public in advance of that meeting – which featured a controversial vote to move forward with a plan to assign children to schools closer to their homes, and move away from a decade-old policy of busing students so schools across the district are diverse.
Crowds of people both in favor of the policy change and opposed to it had crowded previous meetings at which the issue was discussed.
Tuesday's ruling reiterated the judgment of the trial court, which noted that the ticket policy, established at the last minute by the school system, violated the state Open Meetings Law, but dismissed the case on the grounds that it was a one-time offense and not evidence of bad-faith actions to restrict meeting access.