In my FOIA experience, agencies have tried all kinds of things to block or delay the release of information, but I got to see a new one when dealing with a small school district in South Carolina.
Last April, a Lake City teacher was arrested for criminal sexual conduct with a minor. It was in and out of the news for a little bit.
During a lull in the coverage I ran into a family member of the teacher who said the district knew what was going on for longer than they acknowledged, and that I should be able to find at least one email about her “getting a talking to,” information that proved the district knew of the misconduct before she was officially reprimanded.
As soon as I got back to the office, I wrote up a FOIA letter to the district (Florence School District 3) for all emails to and from the school’s principals concerning the teacher in the last two years.
I’d rather know someone at an organization who doesn’t mind giving me information than send a FOIA letter any day. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that option this time. I think in a lot of organizations, especially smaller towns like Florence, S.C., FOIA is seen one of three ways: Read More