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Shawnee Mission School Board Stops Streaming Public Comments After YouTube Removed Video

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A photo of 11 people, male and female, seated at tables draped with grey cloths and arranged in a semicircle, each with a computer or laptop in front of them. Some are wearing protective masks.
Leah Wankum
Shawnee Mission Post
The Shawnee Mission School District's Board of Education now holds the public comments segment before live streaming its regularly scheduled meetings.

The Shawnee Mission School District stopped streaming its public comments segment of its meetings after "medical misinformation" was stated during May's meeting.

In May, YouTube took down a video of a Shawnee Mission School District board meeting for "medical misinformation" stated during a discussion about masks. So the district stopped streaming the public comments segment of its meetings.

The decision was not unanimous. "There's so much good that comes of our public comment portion," said board member Jessica Hembree, "that I think that having it broadcast is useful for just government accessibility and transparency."

Board member Laura Guy expressed her concern over continuing to broadcast the meetings "without jeopardizing" their presence on the social media platform.

For those who think that YouTube violated the constitutional rights of speakers at the meeting, law professor Allen Rostron pointed out that "the First Amendment applies to governments. Like most constitutional rights, it can only be violated by governments," not by businesses like YouTube.

  • Laura Guy, member, Shawnee Mission School Board
  • Jessica Hembree, member, Shawnee Mission School Board
  • Allen Rostron, professor, University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law
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