Court says parents’ letters of complaint not public records

\nOHIO – Letters of complaint written by parents to a school superintendent\nare not public records, the Ohio Supreme Court decided in March.\n

In Ohio v. Leone, 707 N.E. 2d 496 (Ohio, 1999), the\ncourt reversed the ruling of an appellate court without opinion.\n

Community member Karen Sensel sued the Talawanda School District’s\nsuperintendent, Dennis Leone, after he said he could not release\n12 letters, which were complaints against the high school basketball\ncoach, because he had disposed of them.

Sensel had looked into the letters after a parent asked for\nan investigation of the coach and how he treated students. The\nprincipal said he did not have enough evidence to conduct an investigation\nbecause the letters had been thrown away.