Question: Current PTO officer refuses to provide bylaws to members. What are the options for optaining them?

The current PTO President has been asked several times by various members for a copy of the PTO bylaws and has refused to provide them. What options are available to get them? Parents feel helpless as to what to do? If there are not any legal updated bylaws what are the Parents options for dealing with a PTO they are currently unhappy with? Are there any legal actions that can be taken to force them to produce them? And if they do not have them is there any legal action that can be taken? If so what?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hmmm. Would like to believe that maybe this PTO president is a little absent-minded, but, based on how you describe this, it smells a little fishy. Wondering if this president even knows where the bylaws are or if they exist at all. Think of it: What reason would the president have not to provide them? Unless your group is currently configured in a manner that goes against the bylaws. (Meaning, current president has been installed for years and bylaws say there is a two-year term limit.)

It isn't unusual for groups to lose track of bylaws. New boards come and go, some don't really rely on the bylaws and, after a period of time, no one on the board knows where they are.

But, it is very much within the rights of parents to say that want to see the bylaws. Forward a request, cc the school principal if you think it would be helpful, and say you want bylaws on the agenda at the next meeting. Offer to set up a committee to review the bylaws and see if they need updating.

This shouldn't be about legal action at this point. Bottom line, ask in the meeting, do the bylaws exist or not. It's time for the president to say one way or another.

If there are no bylaws, it is time to put together a committee to put together bylaws.

Hope this helps!
Rose C.

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