School board holds hour-long session on individual records
by Hawkins Teague
Apr 16, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
is, superintendent of Trigg County Schools, oversaw his duties of Rotary Auction Chairman last Thursday, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Beth Sumner took his place in the Board of Education meeting. The board voted on a small number of business items, but talked in closed session for more than an hour in the middle of the meeting to discuss educational records of individual students.

Board member Sharon Simmons made a motion to meet in closed session shortly after Sumner had given a report on district learning checks and where the schools stand as the spring testing window approaches. George “Skip?” Howe seconded the motion and the other members voted in favor. On the agenda, the item in question read, “A matter which federal and/or state law requires to be kept private because it involves the educational records of one or more individual students.” According to preliminary recorded minutes, the board began this session at 7:47 p.m. and opened its meeting to the public again at 8:52 p.m.

Board attorney Howell Hopson said that Kentucky Revised Statute 61.810 allows a board to meet privately if specific student records are discussed, though Sumner said the practice was unusual. The statute gives a list of exceptions to open meeting laws, including meeting “which federal or state law specifically require to be conducted in privacy,” and “That portion of a meeting devoted to a discussion of a specific public record exempted from disclosure under KRS 61.878(1)(m).” That statute lists records exempt from public inspection, including public records “containing information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

The board also voted to revise the policy regarding special recognition at graduation in order to give tribute to students that attended the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky at western Kentucky University. The revised policy reads, “In addition, the Board shall reward special recognition equivalent to the District’s Valedictorian to a Gatton Academy scholar provided the student maintains the Academy’s scholarship requirements.”

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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