In a departure from the norm, residents will be allowed to speak at a special meeting of the Enfield Board of Education Wednesday night.
Audience participation is usually part of the agenda only at regularly-scheduled meetings, but several board members expressed their desire to involve the public during an last Tuesday.
The board will be continuing discussion started at the July 10 meeting, held mostly in executive session, in which a motion was made to accept a settlement proposal for a two-year-old lawsuit involving the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
At the end of the tumultuous special meeting, the motion to accept the proposal, for an undisclosed amount, was tabled until July 18.
"One of the things people on the board wanted was to let the public state their concerns," board chairman Tim Neville said. "A lot of this was in private attorney-client session. We want to be as open as possible."
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The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued the school board in 2010 on behalf of five people who were vehemently opposed to the board's practice of holding graduations at the First Cathedral Church in Bloomfield.
A judge issued a temporary injunction prohibiting use of the religious site for a public school graduation. The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have since sought to have the injunction made permanent, which Enfield school officials have opposed.
Since the injunction, graduations have been held on the grounds of both and high schools, as they had been for decades prior to a massive athletic field reconstruction which began in 2007. Last month, both schools held commencement exercises on the artificial turf playing surfaces for the first time.
The special meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at Town Hall, beginning at 7:30 p.m.