Jon Krakauer sues over use of FERPA to hide rape records

The Student Press Law Center has a report, here:

… Krakauer sought the records in connection with an upcoming book, “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town,” focusing on the Johnson case and the larger issue of campus sexual assault. But the university system claims that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act forbids even acknowledging that the records exist.

… “Public records are the backbone of investigative journalism,” the brief argues. “Access to records makes a decisive difference in whether the public learns of the shortcomings of government officials and programs in time to take action.”

… “It’s essential for public accountability to clarify that FERPA does not override state open-records laws, especially not where there is an intense public interest in disclosure and no real privacy left to protect,” said attorney Frank D. LoMonte, executive director of the SPLC. “The public has a right to know how Commissioner Christian reached his decision, and that will be possible only if the Court affirms the trial court’s reasonable, common-sense understanding of this widely abused statute.”

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3 Responses to Jon Krakauer sues over use of FERPA to hide rape records

  1. anon says:

    Please let this contribute to the end of administrators hiding behind FERPA. This has been going on far too long, here and everywhere else it seems. Stop it, Coltrane.

  2. just different says:

    Here’s one for the annals of FERPA-as-catchall: I have been trying to get emails about a questionable UO hire, but Public Records is telling me that the responsive records are FERPA-protected. Now, the job in question wasn’t a “student” position–it even appears in the posted unclassified salary data–and the individual in question had been a UO student, but was no longer a student during the period of employment for this job.

    Yes, you read that right–University Counsel is abusing FERPA to withhold incriminating public records about someone who isn’t even a student.

    • Tell the DA! says:

      That seems like a good one to appeal to the DA’s office, or, you know, the Register Guard.

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