Court Sides With Paper in Easton School Case
Commonwealth Court rules Easton School Board e-mails are public records.
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has ordered the Easton Area School District to turn some of its e-mails over to the Morning Call.
The court ruled Tuesday that the e-mails -- to and from school board members and Superintendent Susan McGinley -- that discuss district business are public records.
School district attorney John Freund told the Morning Call he was pleased the ruling recognized that not all district e-mails were public records, but disappointed that the court had rejected his argument that the paper's request was too vague.
Freund also said the ruling could potentially involve 3,300 e-mails, all of which will have to be reviewed to see if they contain legally protected information about students or district employees.
According to court records, then-Morning Call reporter Christopher Baxter filed a Right-to-Know request to see "all emails sent and received between October 1, 2010, and October 31, 2010, for the email addresses of nine school board members, the district superintendent and the general school district."
The Commonwealth Court ruling upholds a decision by a Northampton County judge last year.