Dear :

I have received your letter and the materials attached to it.  You have requested an advisory opinion concerning a refusal by the principal of PS 106x and the school PTA's president to permit the public to attend a PTA meeting at the school.

It is clear in my opinion that the public had the right to attend the meeting in question.  In this regard, I offer the following comments.

First, the Open Meetings Law (OML) pertains to "public bodies", which, in general, are governmental entities.  A PTA, although associated with government, is not itself a governmental entity and, therefore, it is not subject to the OML.  

Second, however, applicable is section 414(1) of the Education Law entitled "Use of schoolhouse and grounds."  That statute provides that a governing body of a school district may adopt rules concerning the use of district property for certain purposes, including:

"(c) For holding social, civic and recreational meetings and entertainments, and other uses pertaining to the welfare of   the community; but such meetings, entertainment and uses shall be non‐exclusive and shall be open to the general   public. Civic meetings shall include, but not be limited to, meetings of parent associations and parent‐teacher associations."  

Third, Chancellor's Regulation A‐660(4)(a) specifies that "All PA/PTA meetings must be held in the PA/PTA's home school" and that "PA/PTA meetings must be non‐exclusive and open to the public in accordance with NYS Education Law."

In short, in consideration of section 414 of the Education Law and the Chancellor's Regulation A‐660, I believe that you, as well as the general public, enjoy the right to attend PTA meetings held at PS 106x.

In an effort to enhance understanding and compliance with law, a copy of this opinion will be sent to the school's principal, Eugenia Montalvo.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

Robert J. Freeman ‐‐

OML O05478 2

Thank you for speaking with me. I am requesting an opinion regarding the principal and PTA president's attached notice and actions keeping the public out and removing parents from our PTA meeting.

The principal's name is Eugenia Montalvo and the PTA president is Diana Neverson.

Last night I attended my son's school, PS106x, "PTA" meeting with two other current parents, a former parent, a representative from StudentsFirstNY and former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin who you may know is a contributor for the NY Post, City & State and the editor of The Bronx Chronicle.

The PTA president refused to allow Michael Benjamin, the StudentsFirstNY representative and the former parent into the building.  She called the police before the meeting even began. The principal who also signed the notice barring the public, refused to come down and remained upstairs in her office the entire time.

The police eventually came about 30 minutes into the meeting.  I videotaped the PTA president during the meeting as it is an open meeting and the OML says I may record.  I also audio recorded when the PTA president was refusing to let them in the building.  I recorded everything.

The audio link to the PTA president standing in the doorway, refusing to let us in is online at:

Just before the police arrived the PTA president walked over to me while I was sitting and forcefully tried to take my phone out of my hand while I was sitting peacefully just recording her presentation to the nine (9) other attendees.

The police came and told us we must all leave including I and the other current parents because the PTA president and the principal said the meeting is not open to the public, we are disrupting the meeting and recording the PTA president.

I audio recorded the interaction with the police because they told me to stop video recording and that I'm not allowed to video record at the meeting.  We all complied with the police's request and left peacefully.  We have their names and badge numbers.

The audio link to the interaction with the police is online at:

Attached please find the PTA meeting notice, the OML text from the Committee on Open Government and the DOE's regulations stating that PA/PTA meetings are subject to OML.

Thank you and best regards,