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Posted: 12/19/2022 8:31:42 PM EST
You do not need to see what we are teaching to your children

Mom, denied ethnicity and gender class course materials, will appeal judge's FOIA ruling

By Bruce Walker | The Center Square 5 hrs ago

Carol Beth Litkouhi is suing the Rochester Community School District for failure to honor her Freedom of Information Act Requests to obtain teacher training and course materials pertaining to a class titled 'History of Ethnic and Gender Studies.' Her request has been denied, and she's appealing the decision.

(The Center Square) – Carol Beth Litkouhi isn’t done.

Unhappy with the board of the Rochester Community Schools in Michigan, she won election to a six-year seat with them in November. On Monday, she told The Center Square last week’s ruling by an Oakland County Circuit Court judge denying her Freedom of Information Act request for the district’s ethnicity and gender class course materials will be appealed.

“I thought my case was pretty straightforward,” Litkouhi told The Center Square. “I always knew it was a possibility that the judge would side with Rochester Schools, but I fully believed he would come down on the side of transparency.”

The Freedom of Information Act request was related to obtaining course materials for a class titled “History of Ethnic and Gender Studies.” She sued in March. Judge Jacob James Cunningham agreed with Rochester Schools’ argument that Michigan’s FOIA law covers only school districts and not individual teachers.

Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Attorney Steve Delie, representing Litkouhi, disagrees with the judge's ruling. He warned that Cunningham’s decision establishes a dangerous precedent for transparency requests submitted to publicly funded institutions.

“If this decision stands, the implications would be staggering,” Delie wrote in an email to The Center Square. “Should the reasoning of this case be applied to its fullest extent, it’s questionable whether records created by local government or university employees would be subject to FOIA, even if they clearly relate to a public function. We will appeal this decision to ensure that parents, citizens, and journalist continue to have access to the records needed to hold government accountable and fully participate in the Democratic process."

As reported by The Center Square last March, Litkouhi submitted a FOIA request to the school district in late 2021 to collect information on course materials. She paid $418 to see a unit plan for the course but was restricted to perusing them on district property and forbidden from copying the materials allegedly due to copyright concerns. Litkouhi was denied access to other materials she had requested in her FOIA and was told by the school district they weren’t obligated to obtain those materials from the teacher.

“What’s being taught in Rochester Schools is becoming less concerning to me than a judge concluding FOIA law in Michigan can cover public employers but not employees, in this instance school administrators but not teachers, and also that instructional materials used in classrooms are considered private,” Litkouhi said.

Cunningham concluded Michigan’s FOIA law covers only school districts and not individual teachers.

Cunningham wrote in his opinion, “[S]ince the Court finds that public school teachers are not ‘public bodies,’ therefore their papers and work product are not ‘public records’ under FOIA.”

He continued, “Even assuming, arguendo, that public-school teachers are ‘public bodies,’ for the purpose of FOIA requests, a review of the court file, pleadings, briefs, and evidence offered show RCSD has not prepared, owned, used, possessed or retained the documents requested by Plaintiff’s December 14, 2021, FOIA request.”

The original suit filed by the Mackinac Center contained a complaint regarding a second FOIA filed by Litkouhi seeking district teacher diversity, equity, and inclusion training materials from 2020 to 2022. According to Delie, that issue was resolved by the two parties.

Litkouhi was one of four winners in November’s election, picking up 16,980 votes. Incumbent Jessica Gupta led (19,837 votes) and won the other six-year seat. She was more than 900 votes clear of the nearest competitor; two others won two-year seats on the board.

Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.

cmmg
Link Posted: 12/19/2022 8:36:10 PM EST
[#1]
I tip my Hat to her for getting involved and getting in school board To get things rolling .
Link Posted: 12/19/2022 10:31:45 PM EST
[#2]
She’s on the school board, and the administrators STILL won’t give her access to the course materials?  Am I reading this correctly?

Or maybe she has them, but the court case from when she was just an undeserving peon parent/citizen was decided, but now her Board office would allow her access?
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 1:09:14 AM EST
[#3]
Definitely not sus.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 6:14:04 AM EST
[#4]
Judge is putting partisanship above basic common sense and, in my non-lawyer opinion, the normal interpretation of who owns intellectual property.

The teacher is an employee of the government and got paid to develop the materials and lesson plans used in the classroom.  It is therefore government property rather than the property of the teacher and as such is subject to FOIA request, full stop.


Up until COVID, many people I work with refused to allow recordings of their lectures at all because they knew that, were the school to decide to do so, it could simply fire the instructor and continue to use their recorded lectures as long as they wanted.  
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 6:22:05 AM EST
[#5]
Shouldn’t even be an option to keep school lesson plans a secret .
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 6:25:12 AM EST
[#6]
Not sure how things work at teh K-12 level but for the college I work for we have to have teh course syllabus and description publicly available, and the description is reported to the state every year and CANNOT change for the year, and when a significant change happens in the future (like our intro to networking covering novell stuff changign to basic TCP/IP) a new course number is created...

Link Posted: 12/20/2022 6:33:02 AM EST
[#7]
Lol

Emperor in judge robes.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 6:45:58 AM EST
[#8]
The state fights against the citizens learning the truth with everything they have!

The Freedom of Information Act request was related to obtaining course materials for a class titled “History of Ethnic and Gender Studies.” She sued in March. Judge Jacob James Cunningham agreed with Rochester Schools’ argument that Michigan’s FOIA law covers only school districts and not individual teachers.

Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Attorney Steve Delie, representing Litkouhi, disagrees with the judge's ruling. He warned that Cunningham’s decision establishes a dangerous precedent for transparency requests submitted to publicly funded institutions.
View Quote
That discovery would seem to eliminate FOIA from applying to humans everywhere.

"Copyright concerns" my ass.

The liberals running the schools don't want the public to know what they're teaching their kids our of fear.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 6:48:57 AM EST
[#9]
I don't care how good or "conservative" you think your public school is; your kids are wards of the State when you send them to public school. You just have the responsibility to provide food and shelter.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:16:04 AM EST
[#10]
With this ruling one could argue that any document produced by an employee of the .gov is not subject to FOIA requests.  That is scary
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:18:15 AM EST
[#11]
Good for her for trying
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:19:15 AM EST
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
With this ruling one could argue that any document produced by an employee of the .gov is not subject to FOIA requests.  That is scary
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Yes which is the opposite of freedom of information.

The whole premise is strange because congress would likely not pass a law that applies to non-human communications freedom act.

The second point of copyright violation is simple. The person requisition could be sold a book in the FOIA fee.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:23:16 AM EST
[#13]
He continued, “Even assuming, arguendo, that public-school teachers are ‘public bodies,’ for the purpose of FOIA requests, a review of the court file, pleadings, briefs, and evidence offered show RCSD has not prepared, owned, used, possessed or retained the documents requested by Plaintiff’s December 14, 2021, FOIA request.”
View Quote


So even if we're forced to comply with the FOIA request we don't have the documents that the plaintiff was forced to view on RCSD property, even if she saw them before, we destroyed them all afterwords.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:25:03 AM EST
[#14]
Commie judge gonna commie
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:25:55 AM EST
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Judge is putting partisanship above basic common sense and, in my non-lawyer opinion, the normal interpretation of who owns intellectual property.

The teacher is an employee of the government and got paid to develop the materials and lesson plans used in the classroom.  It is therefore government property rather than the property of the teacher and as such is subject to FOIA request, full stop.


View Quote



My non-lawyer self agrees completely with your non-lawyer interpretation here.

It's like asking the teacher/school if they would be comfortable with having a camera in their class to record their lessons. If they say "no", they're trying to hide shit.

Very sus.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:28:33 AM EST
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


So even if we're forced to comply with the FOIA request we don't have the documents that the plaintiff was forced to view on RCSD property, even if she saw them before, we destroyed them all afterwords.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
He continued, “Even assuming, arguendo, that public-school teachers are ‘public bodies,’ for the purpose of FOIA requests, a review of the court file, pleadings, briefs, and evidence offered show RCSD has not prepared, owned, used, possessed or retained the documents requested by Plaintiff’s December 14, 2021, FOIA request.”


So even if we're forced to comply with the FOIA request we don't have the documents that the plaintiff was forced to view on RCSD property, even if she saw them before, we destroyed them all afterwords.


If the school was able to produce the documents once and purchase the documents they can do so again and should be court ordered to do so at their own expense.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:29:35 AM EST
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Good for her for trying
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The left will pour over her life and look for anything to diminish her.
What they don't find they'll make up.
The process is the punishment.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:30:10 AM EST
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

The liberals running the schools don't want the public to know what they're teaching their kids our of fear.
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Pretty much this.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:36:45 AM EST
[#19]
School board is hiding shit
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 7:53:26 AM EST
[#20]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
School board is hiding shit
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Gee, you don't say.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:06:03 AM EST
[#21]
Wait, the judge ruled a School Board Member is not entitled to see curriculum materials!?!?

Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:12:12 AM EST
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Shouldn’t even be an option to keep school lesson plans a secret .
View Quote

Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:18:03 AM EST
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The state fights against the citizens learning the truth with everything they have!

That discovery would seem to eliminate FOIA from applying to humans everywhere.

"Copyright concerns" my ass.

The liberals running the schools don't want the public to know what they're teaching their kids our of fear.
View Quote

This.  MI schools are terrible for transparency, because of liberals.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:22:45 AM EST
[#24]
Then she needs to pull her kids out of that fucking government school

Government schools are there not to give an education,  but to train proles just enough to get a government bureaucrat job

And if you think you can fix them, you're fucked. The Teamsters Union are a bunch of pussies next to the NEA

It's simple. What do you cherish most,  your kids or your stuff?
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:29:58 AM EST
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The state fights against the citizens learning the truth with everything they have!

That discovery would seem to eliminate FOIA from applying to humans everywhere.

"Copyright concerns" my ass.

The liberals running the schools don't want the public to know what they're teaching their kids our of fear.
View Quote


This is ALWAYS the answer when it comes to school curriculum.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:53:17 AM EST
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Definitely not sus.
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Sus? Spell check ?
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:57:51 AM EST
[#27]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Very sus.
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There it is again!
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 8:59:43 AM EST
[#28]
Need more like her……..fight!
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:04:58 AM EST
[#29]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Sus? Spell check ?
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Definitely not sus.
Sus? Spell check ?

"Suspect."
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:09:14 AM EST
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I don't care how good or "conservative" you think your public school is; your kids are wards of the State when you send them to public school. You just have the responsibility to provide food and shelter.
View Quote

School officials would like you to think so, but their authority comes from the doctrine of "in loco parentis" (in the absence of the parent). When a parent is involved their authority overrides the school officials. School officials have been pushing this for a long time, starting with not excusing absences for family related events.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:26:21 AM EST
[#31]
When I was a child, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, parents could visit their children’s classrooms.  My father did it many times.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:28:13 AM EST
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Then she needs to pull her kids out of that fucking government school
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And then what? Keep paying taxes that go to the schools anyway?
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:37:44 AM EST
[#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I tip my Hat to her for getting involved and getting in school board To get things rolling .
View Quote

Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:41:35 AM EST
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Shouldn’t even be an option to keep school lesson plans a secret .
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This


In this age. Home school.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:44:14 AM EST
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

School officials would like you to think so, but their authority comes from the doctrine of "in loco parentis" (in the absence of the parent). When a parent is involved their authority overrides the school officials. School officials have been pushing this for a long time, starting with not excusing absences for family related events.
View Quote


I'm talking about what they are learning, etc. Government will decide what your kids are taught, and by extension their morals and ethics.

We only hear about a few things that cause outrage when caught. But I have no doubts that if people could be a fly on the wall in the classroom, people would find lots of things they are not okay with.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:44:37 AM EST
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Sus? Spell check ?
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Definitely not sus.
Sus? Spell check ?


Suspicious
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:47:15 AM EST
[#37]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Shouldn’t even be an option to keep school lesson plans a secret .
View Quote


No shit, only reason to hide that is for nefarious purposes.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 10:18:01 AM EST
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Suspicious
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Definitely not sus.
Sus? Spell check ?


Suspicious
Abbreviation or lazy fb/ig/tt language? Or do people use it in conversation?
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 10:25:49 AM EST
[#39]
Academia is the mother of all swamps.  All the poison that is infecting our culture originates in academia and is spread by our indoctrinated youth who grow up and pass it on to the next generation.  All the woke politicians and bureaucrats, all the woke corporate toadies, were indoctrinated in academia.  No reform is possible until academia is first reformed.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 10:32:18 AM EST
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Academia is the mother of all swamps.  
All the poison that is infecting our culture originates in academia and is spread by our indoctrinated youth who grow up and pass it on to the next generation.  
All the woke politicians and bureaucrats, all the woke corporate toadies, were indoctrinated in academia.  
No reform is possible until academia is first reformed.
View Quote
Spot on.

The fact that they want what they teach our children to be secret tells you everything you need to know.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 10:33:06 AM EST
[#41]
Link to gofundme?
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 10:42:26 AM EST
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Abbreviation or lazy fb/ig/tt language? Or do people use it in conversation?
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Definitely not sus.
Sus? Spell check ?


Suspicious
Abbreviation or lazy fb/ig/tt language? Or do people use it in conversation?

"Sus" became popular from the game Among Us, which blew up during Covid times.  It is used in casual conversation.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 12:42:02 PM EST
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Academia is the mother of all swamps.  All the poison that is infecting our culture originates in academia and is spread by our indoctrinated youth who grow up and pass it on to the next generation.  All the woke politicians and bureaucrats, all the woke corporate toadies, were indoctrinated in academia.  No reform is possible until academia is first reformed.
View Quote


Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 12/21/2022 7:23:52 AM EST
[#44]
Those must be some fantastic mental gymnastics to conclude that the people aren't entitled to see the course materials in a public school.  If the dismount is good, I'm awarding a 9.5.
Link Posted: 12/21/2022 7:31:35 AM EST
[#45]
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