FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
William B. Armitage,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-439

Superintendent of Schools, Ledyard Public Schools;

and Board of Education, Ledyard Public Schools,

 
  Respondents April 13, 2005
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 5, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. 

           

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1.  The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that by letter dated August 27, 2004, the complainant made the following two requests of the Principal of the Ledyard High School:

 

  a)    that pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,  

        (“FERPA”) he be permitted to inspect all of his son’s records 

        which are  held by the Ledyard School District, its employees and  

        contractors; and

 

b)   pursuant to the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act, he be permitted to inspect “all records which could be considered ‘public’ and which document reports of unauthorized release of  student information” and “any documents relative to any and all  

      action, including disciplinary, with (sic) the district took in response to allegation (sic) of FERPA violations which occurred during the past seven years”.

 

3.  It is found that the records described in paragraph 2a, above, are not at issue in this appeal.  The only records at issue are those described in paragraph 2b, above, (hereinafter “requested records”). 

 

4.  It is found that by letter dated August 31, 2004, the respondent superintendent acknowledged receipt of the August 27, 2004 request.  Such response addressed the complainant’s request as described in paragraph 2a, above, however, it did not address the complainant’s request, as described in paragraph 2b, above.

 

5.  Thereafter, by letter dated September 17, 2004, and filed on September 27, 2004, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the FOI Act by denying him access to inspect the requested records.

 

6.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:

 

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours…. Emphasis added].

 

7.  It is found that the respondents do not maintain or keep on file the requested records.

8.  It is found that the complainant is of the opinion that the respondents should have the requested records, because the complainant personally reported alleged FERPA violations to the Ledyard school district.  He believes that the respondents should have some record of the actions taken by the school district with respect to the alleged FERPA violations.

9.  However, it is found that no such records exist.

10.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-210(a), G.S., when they failed to provide the complainant with access to the requested records.

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

1.      The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 13, 2005.

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission


PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

 

William B. Armitage

59 Homestead Road

Ledyard, CT 06339

 

Superintendent of Schools, Ledyard

Public Schools; and Board of Education,

Ledyard Public Schools

c/o Daniel P. Murphy, Esq.

150 Trumbull Street

Hartford, CT 06103

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-439FD/paj/4/15/2005