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Is RJUHSD Justified Spending $300K to Keep Students’ Records Secret?

One parent speaks out to California Aware about his fight with a Roseville school district to gain access to his student’s records. You can weigh in too.

According to one local parent who spoke with Californians Aware recently, spent an estimated $300,000 in attorney fees in an effort to keep a student’s records secret.

Californians Aware, a nonprofit that aims to keep people informed of government and other large institutions' actions and keep them accountable, spoke with the student’s father, Mike Harris. Harris said about two years ago he attempted to get his son’s full student records from the district in connection to his son’s expulsion from the basketball team. Harris said he received some records, but not all.

A lawsuit followed, in which it was determined that RJUHSD violated Harris’ rights. The district was ordered to give Harris access to his son’s full records.

The district initially refused to pay Harris’ lawyer fees, according to the Californians Aware. Eventually the district agreed to pay Harris’ fees.

Now Harris is questioning the district’s attorney expenses regarding this.

“I estimate the district paid around $300,000 total to their lawyers and my attorney to keep me from seeing my son’s records,” Harris told Californians Aware.

“This is not just a question of them trying to violate my rights,” Harris told Californians Aware. “This is a question of how much money was wasted in the attempt. $300,000 is a huge amount of money, especially now in hard economic times when so many teachers are losing their jobs and so many school programs are being cut. The $300,000 should have been used to pay for teachers, books, or other costs related to educating our students, not a misguided and irresponsible attempt to deny me my rights as a parent.”

You can read Harris' full side of the story here.

We’re reaching out to the district to get their side to the story, but in the meantime wanted to ask readers their thoughts on this issue. Do you think the district was justified in spending this much money in this case? Weigh in by posting a comment below.

Laura Taylor December 06, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Recently, when the schools were closed for Veteran's Day - an IP address in the Roseville City School District was identified by my firm's IT department as attempting to hack into our computer system. I sent an emergency e-mail to my child's school Principal and an urgent message to the IT Dept at RCSD. On the following Monday I heard from the Principal - he only indicated he'd been gone (no-really?) so he couldn't have contacted me sooner and wanted to know if I still needed help. I NEVER heard back from the IT department. A year ago when I wanted clarification on their student internet policy I was told to contact the IT department. I NEVER heard back from them. The hack attack was thwarted by a good firewall and eventual counter-attack by my IT Dept to shut it down. Do you think someone would care? Talk about accessing student personal information. The RCSD has my e-mail address in their system and I access the student gradebook program using my e-mail address - how come no one cares about someone using School District property to hack a legitimate business?

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