Richetelli v. Consiglio-Hoin
Connecticut General Statutes §1-210(b)(17) provides that disclosure is not required of "[e]ducational records which are not subject to disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act … 20 U.S.C. 1232g …" and a board of education did not violate the Freedom of Information Act by providing requested visitor sign-in logs with the approximately 2000 names redacted when there was no easy way to determine whether the individual signing was a parent, whose names were claimed exempt from disclosure pursuant to C.G.S. §1-210(b)(17), or other visitor, and the complainant previously refused to review or collect records prepared for him. Michael Richetelli appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission alleging that the Board of Education of Orange Public Schools and its chairperson, Jeanne Consiglio-Hoin, violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying his request for visitor sign-in logs. The respondents promptly provided existing logs concerning four schools with all names redacted. The FOIC found that the names on the logs were predominantly parents of children enrolled in the schools or professionals attending conferences. The complainant indicated that he was not seeking those names. The respondents contended that the sign-in logs were exempt from disclosure pursuant to C.G.S. §1-210(b)(17). The complainant did not contest the redaction of the names of the student's family members but maintained that he was entitled to other names on the logs. The FOIC found that there was no easy way to determine which of the approximately 2000 names were not parents. It was entirely possible that all names were those of parents. Requiring the respondents to attempt to determine the status of each individual on the list and redact only parents' names could result in the production of another list with all of the names once again redacted. To require the respondents to conduct such an exercise when the complainant has previously refused to review or collect records prepared for him would be unreasonable under the circumstances. The FOIC concluded that the respondents did not violate C.G.S. §1-225(a) and §1-210(a) by providing the requested logs with the names redacted.