Chicago Tribune loses case over school files

ILLINOIS ‘ A state appellate court overturned a trial court decision in June concerning the Chicago Tribune‘s request for student information.

The Tribune sued the Chicago School District after it refused to release information about unnamed students, including attendance records, test scores, race and transportation status, among several other categories. The school district denied the request, saying it was burdensome and there was a risk of disclosure of personal information.

The appellate court cited the Illinois Student Records Act, which makes it illegal to reveal students’ identities, even though the paper did not seek that information.

The Tribune is appealing the decision to the state supreme court. The Student Press Law Center and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press joined the Illinois Press Association in filing a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the paper.

case: Chicago Tribune Co. v. Bd. of Education of City of Chicago, 2002 WL 1401884 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. June 28, 2002)