Sunday, December 15, 2019
US flag

Hinsdale board members may access school records

The Hinsdale Township High School District 86 Board is revising its policy on board members’ access to district documents, recordings, and buildings, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.


The board voted 3-2 in November to accept a settlement agreement in a lawsuit filed by board member Dianne Barrett against the former board president and district superintendent. The lawsuit claimed Ms Barrett was denied access to audio recordings of closed-session meetings that she was unable to attend. She also sued for the right to view documents related to the district’s special education services, documents the district considered confidential.

The new policy:

  • The board agrees that District 86 members have and retain the right to listen to closed session tapes, whether or not they attended that closed session.
  • All District 86 board members are entitled to unlimited access during school hours to documents necessary and relevant to board member’s exercise of official duties that are maintained by, or in possession of, District 86, including personnel and student records, with no requirement that any reason for the request be stated.
  • The member is entitled to enter and move about the property without being accompanied by District 86 staff.
  • All requests will be honored within a reasonable time, in no case to exceed five business days.
  • The member’s request shall be allowed forthwith unless, by a two-thirds vote, the board finds the request is abusive. An abuse of this right would be something like making voluminous requests that burden the district’s resources.

The changes could be voted on at the board April 21 meeting, but since Ms Barrett is no longer a board member, the changes will not apply to her, even though hers is the lawsuit that caused the board to change its policies.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.

A band teacher is IL Teacher of the Year

IL named a band teacher the 2020 Teacher of the Year on Oct. 19. He individualizes music instruction and shares his work with 1000s.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ bookends Halloween

Several high schools have decided to add a little spook to their musical stages in this season of Halloween. Music makes it happen.

New IL law ensures inclusion of LGBTQ+

A law will take effect next school year in IL that will require students to study LGBTQ history as part of the social studies curriculum.

MoCo doubles down on summer learning loss

Research is at least equivocal about summer learning loss, but maybe there's something to a new plan in Montgomery County, Md.