Criminal complaint filed claiming Poudre School District illegally destroyed records

From 7NEWS (Denver):

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – A criminal complaint has been filed against the Poudre School District for willfully destroying public records, denying them to the family of a special needs student.

At a recent school board meeting, PSD Superintendent Sandra Smyser refused to talk about the district’s records policy with CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia.

“I have no comment,” Smyser said.

Smyser took the job as Poudre’s superintendent last year, and was not the district’s superintendent when employees engaged in an organized effort to destroy records in 2010 and 2011. She will not discuss the current records policy, or whether the district acted properly in response.

“Do you think it’s ethical for the school district to destroy records to keep them away from families? From individuals?” Ferrugia asked.

Smyser did not answer.

In March 2011, Ephraim Starr filed a request with the district under the Colorado Open Records Act, requesting his son Isaac’s education records, including emails between staff members. He said the Individualized Education Plan the district had provided for Isaac — who has several disabilities, including autism — was insufficient. Starr found emails dating back four months before his request in which PSD employees discussed destroying records about his son and his family.

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