GRAND LEDGE — A Grand Ledge parent is suing the Grand Ledge Public Schools’ Board of Schooling as a team, and all but one particular of its users separately, professing the board violated the state’s Freedom of Information Act in a response to her request for details about mask waiver requests the district obtained.
Renee Hultburg submitted the lawsuit in opposition to the board and 6 of its members — which include Denise Dufort, Jarrod Smith, Jon Shiflett, Sara Clark Pierson, Nicole Shannon and Patrick McKennon — in January.
McKennon is no more time a board member. Board member Ben Cwayna was not named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed in Eaton County Circuit Court docket far more than four months after Hultberg initially “questioned the district to supply mask exemptions that had been accepted,” in a Sept. 7, 2021, FOIA ask for, her attorney Eric Delaporte stated.
FOIA asks for mask waiver request aspects
Hultberg’s children attended Grand Ledge universities at the time she submitted the ask for, Delaporte said, but they no for a longer time do.
The university district denied her initial ask for on Sept. 13. She appealed to the Board of Training “…with an electronic request for a file that confirmed the number of mask waivers obtained, denied and accredited,” claimed the lawsuit.
That ask for was denied on Oct. 4, according to the lawsuit. Hultberg sent a further ask for to the district the identical working day.
“Please deliver a document that shows the numbers of mask waivers acquired, denied and permitted,” a duplicate of the ask for browse.
The district’s Oct. 12 reaction incorporated a file with columns for each and every mask waiver request received by the district, the kind of request it was, who requested it, their electronic mail handle, which pupil it was for, their grade and the district’s perseverance.
Every thing in the document was redacted besides “title columns” and the date each and every waiver request was acquired by the district, according to the lawsuit.
The school district cited compliance with the Loved ones Instructional Legal rights and Privacy Act as the reason for the redactions. The act governs entry to instructional data and documents by public entities.
Delaporte stated the district’s redactions “plainly violates FOIA.”
The Family Educational Rights and Privateness Act only pertains to “individually identifiable details,” Delaporte reported.
Names or any other individually identifiable information ended up redactable, he mentioned, but the rest of the document wasn’t.
The board “violated the act by redacting data not exempt from disclosure…” stated the lawsuit.
Delaporte stated the university district presented a second copy of the record Hultberg asked for this thirty day period . That duplicate remaining the info Hultberg had requested for unredacted.
“It took the lawsuit to force the release of the files, of the facts,” Delaporte said.
Go through More:
School officers deny violating FOIA
Faculty officers deny violating the law.
The board “totally complied with their obligation underneath the FOIA,” states its response to the lawsuit, submitted with the courtroom in February.
“All information essentially asked for, which are not exempt, have been manufactured,” it states.
Timothy Mullins, an lawyer representing the faculty district and the school board, did not straight away reply to a ask for for comment.
Hultberg’s lawsuit asks that the choose award “her legal professional service fees and charges” and “apply an award (her) all appropriate fines and penalties versus (the board and its customers) readily available below the act.”
No court dates have been established, in accordance to court documents.
Speak to Rachel Greco at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ .