Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 8/17/2018

Earlier this week, two amicus curiae briefs were filed with the Supreme Court of Ohio on behalf of the Ohio School Boards Association. In both briefs, OSBA was joined by other parties. OSBA had been asked by member school districts to prepare these briefs through its Legal Assistance Fund. 

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 6/9/2017

OSBA offers school districts and ESCs in Ohio a wide range of services, access to up-to-date information and research on school issues, and the opportunity to participate actively in the development of educational policy at the state and federal levels. But board members may not be aware of one of the most valuable resources available through OSBA:  the Legal Assistance Fund (LAF).

LAF was established in 1976 to support school districts defending legal challenges with the potential to affect public schools across the state. LAF’s governing trustees are the OSBA president, president-…

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 5/12/2017

In a unanimous decision issued yesterday, the Supreme Court of Ohio upheld the constitutionality of a school district’s searches of a student’s bags. In State v. Polk, the court concluded that schools have a compelling interest in protecting students from harm and it is reasonable for school…

Posted by Sara Clark on 5/6/2016

On Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held in the case White v. King that Ohio’s Open Meetings Act prohibits any private prearranged discussion of public business by a majority of the members of a public body regardless of whether the discussion occurs face to face, telephonically, by video conference, or electronically by email, text, tweet or other form of communication.

In March 2012, Adam White, a school board member for the Olentangy Local…

Posted by Candice Christon on 9/28/2012

The Supreme Court of Ohio recently ruled on a public records case between Columbus State Community College and a former employee. The ruling may assist school districts dealing with overbroad public records requests.

In the case, State ex Rel. Zidonis v. Columbus State Cmty. Coll., 2012-Ohio-4228, Sunday Zidonis was terminated from her employment with Columbus State. Following her termination, Zidonis made several public records requests to the college for certain emails as well as complaint and litigation files over a six-year period.

After receiving the public…

Posted by Candice Christon on 7/20/2012

The OSBA Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) recently participated in an Ohio Supreme Court case between The Ohio State University (Ohio State) and ESPN. The LAF joined the Ohio Legal Rights Service, Community Legal Aid Services, and Northeast Ohio Legal Services, and submitted an amici curiae brief arguing that Ohio State was prohibited from disclosing the records requested by ESPN pursuant to Ohio's Public Records Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

In the case, State ex rel. ESPN Inc. v. Ohio State Univ., Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-2690, ESPN…

Posted by OSBA Legal Ledger on 10/21/2009

Ohio Supreme Court expounds on statutory damages, attorneys fees and costs in post-HB 9 public records mandamus case. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on a recent public records case against a police department, and the ruling has implications for all public entities. The case, State ex rel. Doe v. Smith, 123 Ohio St.3d 44, concerned the availability of a sealed juvenile record. A citizen had made a public records request in late November 2007 for records to the Pierce Township Police Dept. concerning any and all reports on an aggravated arson committed by a juvenile at a residence in the…

Posted by OSBA Legal Ledger on 9/21/2009

State ex rel. Perrea v. Cincinnati Pub. Sch., Ohio St.3d , 2009-Ohio-4762 Perrea, a teacher at Hughes High School in the Cincinnati Public School District (CPS), filed repeated public records requests seeking copies of the standardized tests that are administered to all of the districts ninth grade students at the end of each semester. Perrea stated that he was concerned about the design, implementation and scoring of the examinations, which were developed by WestEd at a cost of $270,000, and claimed that he did not intend to use the copies for any commercial purpose. CPS refused to…

Posted by OSBA Legal Ledger on 4/1/2009

The Ohio Supreme Court released an important decision in favor of Ohio school districts yesterday._ The case, Doe v. Marlington (2009), 2009-Ohio-1360, arose out of a tragic incident in which a young girl with special needs was sexually assaulted on the school bus by another student. The court held that the exception to the sovereign immunity law imposing liability for the "negligent operation of a motor vehicle" does not…