Here’s are some documents and public information sports reporters may want to submit a public records request for.
Lawsuit against UNC for the release of campus sexual assault records officially ends in favor of student journalists
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled University of North Carolina must hand over student, faculty, and staff rape, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct records requested by the university's student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.
SPLC and the New England First Amendment Coalition call on schools to protect speech, press rights
The Student Press Law Center and the New England First Amendment Coalition are calling on public school administrators across New England to protect the speech and press rights of students as they return to class this fall.
Countering COVID-related FERPA objections
Many times administrators cite FERPA as a reason to restrict access to information which the public is entitled to receive. During the pandemic, we see FERPA being used inappropriately to deny important information to student media. SPLC has developed the letter below for you to download and send (or give) to administrators when they misapply FERPA… Continue reading Countering COVID-related FERPA objections
Access to public information restricted as schools move online
Many schools across the country are failing to comply with Sunshine Laws during the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it even more difficult for student journalists to cover the news. Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said the coronavirus isn’t a legally acceptable reason for universities to withhold public information… Continue reading Access to public information restricted as schools move online
Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules
The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, an administrative agency that enforces open record laws, unanimously decided on Feb. 13 that schools cannot withhold educator misconduct records on the grounds of protecting student privacy. The ruling clarifies that public schools can't withhold an entire employee misconduct document because it contains identifying information about a student —… Continue reading Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules
When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?
Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Am I required to explain why I want a particular record when submitting an open records request? A: Almost always, states and the federal government FOI laws make clear that the motivation behind an open records request is irrelevant.… Continue reading When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?
Do I need to be a citizen of a state to request records there?
Q: I am hearing rumors that a recently hired school official was fired from his job at a public college in another state and would like to find out more. Do I need to be a citizen of that state to request records? A: In most cases no. The vast majority of states do not require… Continue reading Do I need to be a citizen of a state to request records there?
Is there an age limit for requesting public records?
Q: Is there an age limit for requesting public records under an open records law? A: Currently, Louisiana is the only state that requires a requester be the “age of majority,” which in Louisiana is currently 18. Likewise, there is no age requirement to request federal records under the federal Freedom of Information Act. Every… Continue reading Is there an age limit for requesting public records?
PODCAST: What the privatization of Florida State University’s athletics department will mean for journalists
Ginny Bixby: Access to public records can be the key to great journalism, especially at a public university. By examining public records, student journalists gain information about a school’s operations and hold school officials accountable for their actions. For student journalists at Florida State University in Tallahassee, covering the athletics department is about to become… Continue reading PODCAST: What the privatization of Florida State University’s athletics department will mean for journalists