Baltimore County

Baltimore County school board violated open meetings law, parent alleges

A Baltimore County parent intends to file a complaint with Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board, alleging that the Board of Education of Baltimore County violated Maryland’s Open Meetings Act when it went into a closed session Tuesday.

Dayana Bergman, who has three students attending Baltimore County Public Schools, said Thursday she was going to file a complaint with the compliance board alleging the school board violated the state’s open meeting law by failing to provide a reason for its move to a closed session Tuesday night.


The board on Tuesday began its public meeting later than scheduled, because it was in closed session. After entering open session, the board quickly moved back into a closed administrative session.

Board Chairwoman Kathleen Causey raised the topic of the election for chair and vice chair, and Vice Chair Julie Henn immediately motioned to move the board into a closed administrative session without a closing statement that is required by law. The board voted in favor of the motion, and remained in a closed session for more than two hours.


Upon returning from the closed session, board member Lisa Mack moved that the board recess until Thursday, when it would resume in closed session to “discuss an administrative function" — an ongoing attempt to elect a chair and vice chair for the new year.

According to a manual published by the Office of the Maryland Attorney General, a public body conducting a meeting must meet certain conditions prior to closing a meeting. Those conditions include making a written statement as to why the meeting is closing and disclosing the topics discussed and conducting a recorded vote on the motion to close the meeting.

In a statement, Causey said the board conducts its meetings with the advice of legal counsel.

“Any concern will be forwarded to the Board Counsel to be reviewed and addressed,” Causey wrote.