With a storm brewing in Arkansas and an effort to further open records exemptions in New Mexico, more and more states are working to move government further into the shadows.
For Sunshine Week 2016, the SPLC launched a new campaign to "stop secret police" by holding private universities' police departments accountable to public records laws.
"You can't have that, that's protected by FERPA" is one of the most common refrains we hear at SPLC.
A federal privacy law meant to safeguard student grades, transcripts and disciplinary files continues being misapplied to obstruct public accountability, even where no legitimate privacy interests are at stake.Exhibit A is the University of Oklahoma's stubborn insistence that parking tickets are "confidential education records" under FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
In just a little over a month, journalists across the country will celebrate open government in action. Held annually in March, Sunshine Week is a chance for journalists to demonstrate to lawmakers and the public the importance of open government and easy access to public records.In the past, the Student Press Law Center has teamed up with student journalists across the country on public records projects.
A citizen's right to know and journalists' rights to report are threatened every day, say the organizers of Sunshine Week, who planned the weeklong program to highlight freedom of information issues and emphasize the importance of open government.
Campus safety has become an important concern in the wake of high-profile school shootings, abductions and murders of young collegians across the nation.
The SPLC contacted 21 colleges and universities -- two private institutions and one public school in each state.
As the battle between the Illinois High School Association and professional newspaper photographers continues, whether the dispute affects high school photographers and schools that resell photos is unknown.
Under state and federal sunshine laws, the press is supposed to have access to government and public records -- therefore, student journalists should have access to student government records, right?