Public school parents have a vital weapon in their arsenal: the Freedom of Information Act or similar local public records laws.
Exercise your right under your state’s Freedom of Information Act and public records laws to get documents related to your issue of concern. Public school records available include emails from the email addresses of public school officials (including principals, school board members, teachers, staff and anyone with a school email address). Also available are contracts, curriculum, trainings, videos, text messages and other records that provide valuable information about events, classes and other issues that may cause you concern.
We have extensive experience filing public records requests, so contact us with tips and ideas that you’ve got for documents we should try to get; if we agree, we’ll get a request out the door. It usually takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks to get results, but the results are usually very rewarding! And if you file your own and think you’ve found something great, let us know – we can put it on our IndoctriNation Map and help to publicize your results!
- Open My Government – Citizen’s Guide to Public Records Requests, The Goldwater Institute
- Public Records Letter Generator, Student Press Law Center
- FOIA 101: Demystifying Public Records Laws in Each State, Granicus
- State Freedom of Information Laws, National Freedom of Information Coalition
- Royal Oak Schools in Michigan issued a FOIA Procedures and Guidelines Manual that spells out its fee process and offers a guidebook that most school districts don’t typically provide. It offers good insight from a school district into the FOIA process.