Missouri newspaper settles lawsuit with school district after six-month battle for public information

UPDATE 6/15: The Springfield News-Leader settled a suit with the Republic School District on Thursday, ending a dispute over information about another lawsuit, settled in November, involving a student and her family who claimed the middle school did not protect the girl from sexual harassment and rape during school hours.According to the News-Leader, documents reveal the district paid $185,000 -- $122,315 to the girl and her family, and the remaining money toward attorney fees.--------A southwest Missouri newspaper and the Republic School District are working to settle a public records lawsuit and reveal the details of a November settlement over student sexual abuse allegations, the newspaper’s attorney said Wednesday.The Springfield News-Leader filed a public records lawsuit June 4 for information regarding the district’s settlement with the student, particularly the amount the district paid and the minutes from any meeting where the settlement was discussed.The News-Leader’s suit argued the district is required to release the information under the Missouri Sunshine Law.“We believe that the applicable Sunshine Law statute requires disclosures of the information for obvious reasons – the taxpayers have a right to know how the school is conducting its business,” attorney Bryan Wade told The News-Leader.Wade confirmed the district had responded to the suit, and the two entities are negotiating an agreement.