Scales of JusticeReprimanded teacher objects to disclosure of the reprimand

The appellate court’s opinion in Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unif. Sch. Dist. (Jan. 24, 2012)  No. B231787 is an excellent recap of the California Public Records Act (Gov. Code sec. 6250, et seq.) with respect to disclosure of certain records of public employees.

The short version is, if the public employee is disciplined in any way, it is almost certain that the public’s interest in knowing that (upon request) outweighs the employee’s privacy rights.

In the Marken case, the teacher was found to have engaged in certain conduct in violation of the school district’s sexual harassment (of students) policy.  A written reprimand was issued.  There was no appeal.

Two years later, a request was made for disclosure of that reprimand and other documents.  The teacher sought an injunction preventing disclosure, claiming a violation of his privacy rights.  Both the trial and appellate courts ruled that the injunction should be denied and the disclosure made (with redactions of certain information pertaining to others).

This is the correct decision for any number of reasons. But, the larger question is, when are some people going to get a clue?

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