Tuesday, February 16, 2010

UPDATE: U. Wisc. Settles Suit With College Paper

University of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeImage via Wikipedia
In a case that began more than a year ago, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee has settled a lawsuit with its college newspaper, The UWM Post, concerning an alleged violation of The Badger State's public records law (see "TUOL" post 11/16/09).

The Associated Press reports that the two sides settled, with the University agreeing to assume the paper's  nearly $12,000 in attorneys' fees and to turn over an unredacted version of the documents initially sought by the paper.  The Post wanted copies of the agendas, audio recordings, and minutes of meetings of  the university's student union board dating back to 2008 pursuant to the public records law [Wis. Stat. sec. 19.31-19.39], which the administration initially turned over, though the names of students and even audio tracks of  their voices were omitted, actions that the school claimed were mandated by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") [20 U.S.C. sec. 1232g].

FERPA is intended to protect student records, such as grades, but in this instance, was applied to a public body, albeit one composed of students.

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