school mask mandates

Navigating open records requests in an age of pandemics, school closures, and mask mandates

Originally published at Broad + Liberty

Bucks County officials who responded to a Right-to-Know request last year seeking insight into how Covid-19 policies were formulated, and how those policies affected public schools, claim the request was “insufficiently specific.” 

That was the argument advanced for the purpose of denying the request in the “Matter of Kevin Mooney and The Commonwealth Foundation vs. The Bucks County Intermediate Unit,” which went before Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records (OOR) in June 2022. The request was initially filed the previous April and separated out in parts “A, “B,” and “C” sought records 

Attorneys for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit cited the office’s “three-part balancing test” in their response to the appeal from The Commonwealth Foundation challenging the unit’s refusal to release public records. That test involves the need for requestors to 1) identify a “transaction or activity,” 2) point to a “discrete group of documents,” and to 3) limit the request to a finite time frame.

Read more at Broad + Liberty