In a win for transparency, Pennsylvania court orders release of school bus surveillance video

Editor’s Note: The Student Press Law Center signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief from the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida arguing for greater transparency in public schools and against overly broad usage of FERPA to block what should be public information.

The following is an excerpt from a story by the Brechner Center. You can read the full article here.

A surveillance video that captured an altercation between a high-school student and an adult volunteer is a public record that must be turned over to journalists, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Monday, turning aside the school district’s claim that federal privacy law required keeping the footage confidential.

In a 3-0 ruling, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania found that the state’s Right-to-Know-Law applies to videos from school-bus security cameras, even when those videos depict identifiable students. The case is Central Dauphin School District v. Hawkins.

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