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Jackson v. Willoughby Eastlake School District

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
2018 WL 1468666 (2018)


Facts

Robert Jackson and Kim J. (plaintiffs) sued, claiming that the Willoughby Eastlake School District, other governmental entities, and several individuals (defendants) did not respond adequately to the bullying of their daughter C.J. at school. During discovery, Jackson sought information about the school’s investigation of several bullying incidents and the students involved. Specifically, Jackson asked for the records of three students that C.J. accused of bullying and the personnel records of school employees involved in the investigations of each incident. The school responded that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protected the privacy of those records and that an accidental fire had destroyed documents containing some of the information requested. The school did identify two school officials who were involved in the investigations but claimed confidentiality shielded the rest of the information. Jackson asked the court to compel the school to produce the records and for sanctions because of the records’ destruction. The school asked for a protective order to keep the records’ confidential.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ruiz, J.)

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