The state Freedom of Information Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. on a complaint that the Regional District 10 Board of Education [Burlington-Harwinton] conducted an illegal private meeting on June 11, 2007.

An executive session was called on June 11 for pending litigation—apparently regarding Avery Doninger, the Lewis Mills High School student who was punished for engaging in political speech protected by the First Amendment.

Sources confirmed the board discussed the Doninger punishment in executive session.

There was no litigation connected with the Doninger matter at that time. The Doninger civil rights lawsuit was not filed until more than a month later—on July 16.

The Board of Education faces civil penalties including a fine for conducting a private meeting without a legitimate reason.The complaint was filed by Lauren Doninger, Avery’s mother.