School employees

Wisconsin can consider requesters' intent, court says

Emily Grannis | Freedom of Information | News | May 12, 2014
May 12, 2014

A Wisconsin appeals court has ruled that state agencies may consider a requester's intent before releasing public records under the state's freedom of information law.

Previously, Wisconsin, like most states, did not require a public record requester to provide their name or the reason for seeking information.

The court last week was considering a case in which a man requested the employment records of a public school employee he was suspected of abusing. The Milwaukee School Board refused to release the information to that requester, citing a previous restraining order against the man and concerns for the employee's safety.

Va. high court clarifies FOIA exemption, redaction fee issues in case over climate change controversy

Emily Grannis | Freedom of Information | News | April 17, 2014
April 17, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled this morning that the University of Virginia does not have to release certain emails sent to and from a former professor.

The American Tradition Institute (now the Energry and Environmental Legal Institute) requested emails under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act from Michael Mann, a climate scientist and then-professor at UVA, in 2011. He intervened in the case at the trial level, alleging that the university was not sufficiently representing his privacy and academic freedom rights in a controversy surrounding climate change research.

Judge rules Ill. eavesdropping law unconstitutional

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | February 25, 2013
February 25, 2013

A former Illinois elementary school principal cannot be charged under the state's controversial eavesdropping law because the law was not narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest, rendering it unconstitutional, a judge ruled last week.

Circuit Judge David Akemann dismissed the Geneva School District’s lawsuit against employee Margaret Pennington because Illinois’ eavesdropping law punishes innocent conduct while restricting the ability of individuals to record conversations.

Shut out at Penn State

Why the “hybrid university” was exempt from releasing records
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AP Photo by Nabil K. Mark

Former Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky walks past the media on Jan. 22.

Last fall, a grand jury indicted former Pennsylvania State University football coach Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky on 40 counts related to his alleged sexual abuse of eight young boys.

School employee may have been fired for talking to press

Stephen Miller | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | September 13, 2010
September 13, 2010

A U.S. District Court judge in Maryland denied the Frederick County Board of Education’s motion to dismiss a former employee’s First Amendment violation claim on Thursday, finding it reasonable to argue that the employee had been fired for releasing information to the press, according to court documents.