Ohio supreme court to decide public's right to monitor campus justice system

OHIO — In an important legal test involving the rightof student journalists and others to gain access to campus courtrecords, the Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments January 21 regardingwhether Miami University’s student newspaper should be allowedto see school records detailing what takes place in closed campusdisciplinary proceedings involving criminal activity.

Jennifer Markiewicz, a former editor, and Emily Hebert, thecurrent editor of The Miami Student say they sued the universityfor violating the state’s open records law after it refused torelease meaningful information about how the university judicialsystem responded to campus criminal activity. The school claimsthat a federal law known as the Buckley Amendment, which protectsstudent “education records” from unauthorized disclosure,prohibits the release of the requested information.

A 1993 Georgia Supreme Court decision held that the BuckleyAmendment did not prohibit public access to campus court proceedingsand records. In 1995, the U.S. Department of Education ruled theother way.

A decision in the Ohio case is expected in the next few months.

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