A North Carolina school board tried to withhold the minutes of a closed-door discussion about the school superintendent's employment contract, claiming the minutes were a "personnel record." But a state appeals court disagreed. The ruling is a reminder that, despite what school lawyers often insist, not everything about personnel decisions is off-limits to journalists' scrutiny.
Schools come by their hostility to freedom of speech honestly; they get it from their school boards, which are habitually hostile to dissenters.Many school districts forbid speakers from criticizing school employees during the public-comment portion of board meetings. Some go even further and prohibit mentioning any proper names.That's changing, because of a growing legal consensus that it's… Continue reading A string of recent rulings make school boards safer places for dissenting views