Yes, I have a semester under my belt at this very college.
(From FOI Oklahoma -- Thought this would be of interest given our universities' broad reliance on FERPA for denying records.)
WYOMING--A Wyoming judge ruled Tuesday to dissolve a temporary restraining order against the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and the Cheyenne Herald that prevented the newspapers from publishing a leaked report concerning the president at Laramie County Community College.
On April 12, the college initially denied the Tribune Eagle access to the report based on a claim that disclosure would violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. On May 21, the Tribune Eagle, through an anonymous source, received a copy of the report, which contains information regarding President Darrel Hammon's conduct while chaperoning a 2008 student trip to Costa Rica.
The lawyers representing the college maintained that since the report also contains student names, releasing any information pertaining to the report would violate provisions of FERPA and put the school in danger of losing all U.S. Department of Education funding, according to the court order.
In his Tuesday ruling, the judge said that there was no substantial evidence to show that publication of the material would be a violation of FERPA jeopardizing the college's federal funding.
"It's disturbing that a college would hide behind a bogus claim of confidentiality to conceal unflattering information. FERPA is about having an effective confidentiality policy -- the department [of education] is not going to shut down an entire college for a single disclosure," said Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center.
"It's somewhat frustrating for me that the college would go through this much effort to withhold information that clearly in my mind belongs to the public domain. That they would go to these kinds of measures to withhold this report is particularly concerning."
Tribune Eagle executive editor Reed Eckhardt said: "It's somewhat frustrating for me that the college would go through this much effort to withhold information that clearly in my mind belongs to the public domain. That they would go to these kinds of measures to withhold this report is particularly concerning."
For the full story: http://www.splc.org/newsflash.asp?id=2093