Grand Ledge Board of Education violated FOIA law

GRAND LEDGE — A Grand Ledge mother or father is suing the Grand Ledge General public Schools’ Board of Education and learning as a group, and all but one particular of its customers individually, declaring the board violated the state’s Flexibility of Info Act in a response to her request for facts regarding mask waiver requests the district been given.

Renee Hultburg submitted the lawsuit from the board and six of its users — 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.

Grand Ledge Public Schools' administration building pictured January, 8, 2021.

Grand Ledge General public Schools’ administration setting up pictured January, 8, 2021.

The lawsuit was filed in Eaton County Circuit Court docket far more than four months just after Hultberg initially “requested the district to provide mask exemptions that experienced been authorised,” in a Sept. 7, 2021, FOIA request, her attorney Eric Delaporte said.

FOIA asks for mask waiver ask for particulars

Hultberg’s little ones attended Grand Ledge universities at the time she submitted the request, Delaporte explained, but they no extended do.

The college district denied her original request on Sept. 13. She appealed to the Board of Training “…with an electronic ask for for a report that showed the quantity of mask waivers acquired, denied and authorised,” reported the lawsuit.

That ask for was denied on Oct. 4, according to the lawsuit. Hultberg sent a different ask for to the district the identical day.

“Please present a document that demonstrates the figures of mask waivers gained, denied and authorised,” a duplicate of the ask for read.

The district’s Oct. 12 response involved a record with columns for each and every mask waiver ask for obtained by the district, the type of request it was, who asked for it, their electronic mail deal with, which scholar it was for, their quality and the district’s dedication.

Everything in the document was redacted apart from “title columns” and the date each waiver request was been given by the district, according to the lawsuit.

The college district cited compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as the purpose for the redactions. The act governs obtain to instructional info and records by general public entities.

Delaporte reported the district’s redactions “clearly violates FOIA.”

The Loved ones Instructional Legal rights and Privacy Act only pertains to “individually identifiable information,” Delaporte stated.

Names or any other individually identifiable information and facts had been redactable, he reported, but the rest of the document was not.

The board “violated the act by redacting facts not exempt from disclosure…” said the lawsuit.

Delaporte said the school district supplied a next copy of the report Hultberg asked for this month . That copy left the information Hultberg experienced questioned for unredacted.

“It took the lawsuit to force the launch of the documents, of the details,” Delaporte said.

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College officers deny violating FOIA

Faculty officials deny violating the law.

The board “totally complied with their obligation under the FOIA,” states its response to the lawsuit, filed with the court docket in February.

“All information basically asked for, which are not exempt, have been manufactured,” it states.

Timothy Mullins, an lawyer representing the school district and the college board, did not quickly respond to a ask for for comment.

Hultberg’s lawsuit asks that the choose award “her lawyer charges and expenditures” and “implement an award (her) all appropriate fines and penalties towards (the board and its members) obtainable less than the act.”

No court dates have been set, in accordance to court docket data.

Speak to Rachel Greco at [email protected] Stick to her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ .

This report at first appeared on Lansing Point out Journal: Mum or dad sues Grand Ledge Board of Instruction around FOIA response