Atlantic Community School District Superintendent Michael Amstein said he received word of the Iowa Supreme Court decision regarding the release of school district employee records from the district’s attorney this morning. Amstein said he was amazed by the lengthy reasons given by the dissenting judges, but overall, he was happy with the end result.
“The school district is pleased with the decision, and it affirms our contention that those records were confidential and exempt to the open records law,” Amstein said “It was good to see that the majority of the Court felt that way, too.” Amstein said he hopes this puts an end to the controversy.
He said their attorney has informed the district the ACLU could ask for a “re-hearing,” but that rarely happens. Amstein says it’s time for the district to “move on.” Amstein said even if a second hearing is not heard by the state’s high court, the case will not be forgotten.
“You never want to be remembered in the history books (for a case such as this), but when it comes to Case Law, we probably will,” Amstein said. The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the district could keep private the discipline given to two employees who strip searched high school girls in 2009 after another student reported money was stolen from her purse.
The majority decision said the information is protected because it is part of the employees’ personnel record. The dissenting judges said the ruling sets back the effort to have open government in the state.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic