Complaints about Public Records

Here is a PDF of the email I sent to Randy Booker regarding complaints both he and I received about the release of information under the CPRA:

I also brought this topic up at a subsequent school board meeting, requesting that Randy Booker follow the advice in the last 2 paragraphs of my email.

At that meeting, Randy Booker said that he cannot think of the right words to say to parents that would not prevent some parents from emailing the board. He did not apologize for the student information that was leaked by his office.

Since some complaints were about IEP, I also asked the PRAISE board to inform their membership that their emails to the board are a matter of public record. They also rejected my request to do so.

The good news is that going forward, Randy Booker's office will be utilizing Adobe Photoshop to redact names, ages and other identifying information of students instead of the time consuming approach of printing the email, using a Sharpie, and then rescanning the email.

Most of the heat I got for this request was a character assassination attempt by the powers that be (Piedmont Exedra - CEO Mary Ireland - lifetime board member of PEF and 2nd largest donor in its history) with an article titled "Titan roiled the community". The article didn't lay the blame for the student data leak on the office of superintendent and exaggerated the number of people (only 3 contacted me) who were unaware of the existence of the CPRA and how that works into roiling "the community".

The article also scares parents into imagining their public emails were searchable by search engines crawling my website. Nobody reported seeing my website in search engine results when searching for their names. This fear was entirely unfounded.

Going to any website's "https: //XXX/robots.txt" will show how website owners prevent specific files or subfolders from being crawled by search engine (ro)bots. Major search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo) also provide an administrator interface to confirm whether or not a web link will be crawled by that search engine. I used both these techniques to ensure files in the private area of my website remained private unless someone had a web link to download those files. This is analogous to a Google Doc that exists on a web server, is shared with anyone who has a link, but is hidden from anyone without the link.