Attorneys Michael Abate, representing the College Heights Herald, and Thomas Miller, representing the Kentucky Kernel, filed a job brief on behalf of the two student newspapers this week. The brief addresses Western Kentucky University’s stance again releasing records because of FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and the university’s refusal to release documents to the Attorney General for an in camera review as allowed by the Open Records Laws.
BRIEF OF THE COLLEGE HEIGHTS HERALD AND KENTUCKY KERNEL
REGARDING FERPA ISSUES
Defendants-Appellees the College Heights Herald and Kentucky Kernel (collectively, the “Requesters”), through their undersigned counsel, jointly file this brief in response to the Court’s November 21, 2017 Order requiring the parties to brief two threshold questions of law:
(1) “whether the records at issue in this case are exempt from disclosure under Kentucky’s Open Records Act because [the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] prohibits their release in whole or part” and
(2) “whether the Attorney General has authority to conduct in camera review pursuant to Kentucky’s Open Records Act and FERPA.” For the reasons explained below, FERPA does not prohibit the release of redacted documents to the public, and the University’s refusal to provide those redacted documents to the Attorney General was a willful violation of state law.
Here is a pdf copy of the brief filed on behalf of the College Heights Herald and Kentucky Kernel — 2018_03_01 FERPA Brief