State ex rel. The Miami Student v. Miami University

79 Ohio St.3d 168 (1997)

In 1996, two reporters at The Miami Student newspaper requested disciplinary records from the University of Miami of Ohio’s campus court proceedings, but were denied. The university claimed the records were protected by FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Although The Miami Student reporters did not request the names of students who had been disciplined, the university said that disclosing the records could risk identifying specific students’ records. The newspaper argued the records were public under Ohio’s public records law.

In July 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the newspaper, stating that the university did not have the right to deny the public access to its disciplinary records because discipline records are not “education records” under FERPA.