United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
OPINION & ORDER
MICHAEL R. BARRETT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court upon Plaintiffs' Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. (Doc.
2). Defendant Madison Local School Board filed a Response in
Opposition (Doc. 13); and Plaintiffs filed a Reply (Doc. 14).
the telephone conference held on May 20, 2019, the parties
informed the Court that the Court could rule on
Plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief without a
hearing. However, Plaintiffs later filed a Supplemental
Evidence in Support of their Reply. (Doc. 19). Defendant
filed a Motion to Strike, or in the Alternative Supplement
the Record. (Doc. 22). Because the Court finds that the
evidence submitted by Plaintiffs in their supplement has no
bearing on the Court's decision, Defendant's Motion
to Strike is DENIED as MOOT.
reasons that follow, Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction is DENIED.
parties do not dispute the factual basis for Plaintiffs'
Sandra Ison has a son who attends school in the Madison Local
School District (“the District”). (Doc. 1, ¶
10). Plaintiff James Cullen is Sandra's partner. (Doc. 1,
¶ 13). Abby Ison and Billy Ison are the parents of
Sandra Ison, and are the grandparents of her son. (Doc. 1,
¶¶ 4, 5, 11, 12). Plaintiff Carolyn Patrick is a
concerned citizen who lives in the District. (Doc. 1, ¶
February 29, 2016, a student in a District school stood up in
the cafeteria, fired a gun, and injured four students. (Doc.
1, ¶¶ 15, 16). As a result of the incident,
Defendant Madison Local School Board (“the
Board”) began to discuss arming some of its
administrators, teachers, and support staff. (Doc. 1, ¶
Board first discussed the idea during its March 26, 2018
board meeting. (Doc. 13-4, Dr. Lisa Tuttle-Huff Decl.,
PAGEID# 118). At its next meeting, on April 24, 2018, the
Board considered and voted on a resolution to allow armed
staff in school safety zone. (Doc. 13-4, Tuttle-Huff Decl.,
PAGEID# 122). During the meeting, Sandra Ison, Abby Ison and
Billy Ison all spoke. (Id.) During the Board's
next meeting, on May 22, 2018, eight individuals spoke,
including Sandra Ison, Abby Ison and Billy Ison. (Doc. 13-4,
Tuttle-Huff Decl., PAGEID# 136-137).
13, 2018, the Board held an open forum in the high school gym
to hear anyone who wanted to speak about the Board's
decision to allow armed staff. (Doc. 13-2, David French
Decl., ¶ 10, PAGEID# 99). Anyone who signed up to speak
before the start of the meeting was allowed to speak.
(Id.) During this meeting, there were no time limits
placed on the speakers. (Id.)
May 2018 and March 2019, Plaintiffs have spoken out against
the District's policy authorizing staff to carry firearms
a total of approximately thirty-five times. (Doc. 13-2, David
French Decl., ¶ 9, PAGEID# 99).
Board has adopted Madison School District Rule 0.169.1,
titled “Public Participation Policy” (the
“Policy”), to govern comments from the public
during its meetings. The current version of the Policy is as
The Board of Education recognizes the value to school
governance of public comment on educational issues and the
importance of allowing members of the public to express
themselves on school matters of community interest.
The Board is also committed to conducting Its meetings in a
productive and efficient manner that assures that the regular
agenda of the Board is completed in a reasonable period of
time, honors the voluntary nature of the Board's time and
using that time efficiently, and allows for a fair and
adequate opportunity for input to be considered.
Consequently, public participation at Board meetings will be
governed by the following principles:
A. Any person or group wishing to place an item on the agenda
shall register their intent with the Superintendent no later
than seven (7) days prior to the meeting and include:
1. name and address of the participant;
2. group affiliation, if and when appropriate;
3. topic to be addressed.
Such requests shall be subject to the approval of the
Superintendent and the Board President.
B. In order to permit the fair and orderly expression of such
comment, the Board shall provide a period for public
participation at every regular meeting of the Board and
publish rules to govern such participation in Board meetings.
The presiding officer of each Board meeting at which public
participation is permitted shall administer the rules of the
Board for its conduct.
presiding officer shall be guided by the following rules:
B. Anyone having a legitimate interest in the actions of the
Board may participate during the public portion of a meeting.
C. Attendees must register their Intention to participate in
the public portion of the meeting at least two (2) business
days prior to the meeting upon their arrival at the meeting
by completing the public participation form. An attendee who
desires to participate in the public portion of the meeting
must complete the public participation form in person and
provide proof of residence in Madison Township, Butler
County, Ohio. . . .
E. Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to
three (3) minutes duration.
G. All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer;
no person may address or question Board members individually.
presiding officer may:
1. prohibit public comments that are frivolous, repetitive,
2. interrupt, warn, or terminate a participant's
statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally
directed, abusive, off-topic, antagonistic, obscene, or
3. request any individual to leave the meeting when that
person does not observe reasonable decorum;
4. request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the
removal of a disorderly person when that person's conduct
interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting;
5. call for a recess or an adjournment to another time when
the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly
conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action; 6. waive
J. The portion of the meeting during which the participation
of the public is invited shall be limited to ...