Atlantic School District Superintendent reacts to IA SUPCO decision


July 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Community School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein received word of the Iowa Supreme Court decision regarding the release of school district employee records from the district’s attorney this (Friday) morning. Amstein said he was amazed by the lengthy reasons given by the dissenting judges, but overall, he was happy with the end result. He told KJAN NEWS “The school district is pleased with the decision, and it affirms our contention that those records were confidential and exempt to the open records law. Amstein said “It was good to see that the majority of the Court felt that way, too.” 

Amstein said he hopes this puts an end to the controversy.  He says their attorney has informed the district the ACLU could ask for a “re-hearing,” but that rarely happens. Amstein says it’s time for the district to “move on.” Amstein said even if a second hearing is not heard by the state’s high court, the case will not be forgotten. He says “You never want to be remembered in the history books (for a case such as this), but when it comes to Case Law, we probably will.”

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that information regarding disciplinary action against two Atlantic School District employees is exempt from disclosure under the Iowa Code. The High Court’s decision upheld an earlier district court ruling allowing school officials to refrain from releasing information requested by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU sought information under Iowa’s open records law after two district employees were disciplined for conducting a strip search of five female students in an attempt to locate $100 reported missing by another student in 2009.