Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do public schools have a right to hide investigations of possible serious misconduct by employees?

No, says Terry Francke:

"Three decisions of the California Court of Appeal issued over 35 years-two of them overruling denials by school districts-conclude that public employees have no right of privacy to bar disclosure of, and their employers may not withhold, records showing complaints of serious misconduct that are found substantiated by investigation, or have other hallmarks of reliability.

"If the employees are public figures such as superintendents or other top officials, disclosure of investigative findings may be required, even when they tend to exonerate the official,
if doing so is necessary to restore public confidence. - Terry Francke, general counsel of Californians Aware

(This quote is from:
Hornet audits local education agencies
Reporters worked with Californians Aware and requested public records
Michael Mette

[Maura Larkins' note: It would certainly restore public confidence if Chula Vista Elementary School District would release its investigation of a teacher at Castle Park Elementary who was suspected by fellow teachers of being on the verge of committing a mass shooting at the school. The safety of children and staff seems to have been of no concern at all to the district. The investigation was bungled, and the embarrassment regarding the bungling seems to have been of more concern to board members than the safety of children. They preferred to hush the matter up rather than do a real investigation.]

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