CUSD changes ID policy after attorney questions its legality

by Steven Felschundneff |

After the Courier made Claremont Unified School District aware that its policy of checking visitors’ identification before they can attend Board of Education meetings may violate state law, on February 8 Assistant Superintendent, Student Services Kevin Ward said the district will change its check in policy.

“We will be changing the District Office check-in practice beginning the next Board meeting,” Ward wrote in an email. “Staff will continue to process people with Claremont Adult School Student IDs as normal (they present their ID when they arrive for class) and for all others, staff will ask, ‘Where are you heading tonight?’ If the person states, ‘I am going to the Board meeting,’ the staff member will let them in and direct them to the third floor (without Raptor check-in). They will check-in anyone who has other business in the building… which is rare for that time of night.”

Previously, residents who wished to attend Board of Education meetings were asked to present a valid California identification which was then scanned into a system called Raptor. But that practice violates the Ralph M. Brown Act, according to an attorney with the First Amendment Coalition.

“A member of the public shall not be required, as a condition to attendance at a meeting of a legislative body of a local agency, to register his or her name, to provide other information, to complete a questionnaire, or otherwise to fulfill any condition precedent to his or her attendance,” according to the Brown Act.

The first meeting at which the new policy was in place took place after press time Thursday.


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