Unions fight release of school bus driver disciplinary records

From 9NEWS (Denver):  The unions for teachers and bus drivers in the Cherry Creek School District went to court Friday in an effort to block the release of disciplinary records sought by 9NEWS as part of a wide-ranging investigation of crashes involving school buses in Colorado.

As part of its examination of more than 1,500 school bus wrecks reported in Colorado since 2011, 9Wants To Know had sought disciplinary records for drivers from 21 districts who were involved in crashes that were deemed by police to be their fault and that resulted in injuries.

The Cherry Creek School District was one of four that refused to release those records.

After attorney Steve Zansberg appealed on behalf of 9NEWS, district administrators relented this week and decided to release the records. However, the Cherry Creek Transportation Employees Association, which represents bus drivers, and the Cherry Creek Education Association, which represents teachers, sued the district to block the release.

Tustin Amole, spokeswoman for the district, was also named as a defendant because she is the official custodian of records for Cherry Creek schools.

Amole said neither she nor anyone else from the district could comment Friday.

The unions contend that the records in question are barred from release by a section of state law that deems “personnel files” closed to the public. The employees in question “have legitimate expectations of privacy in their personnel records,” attorney Sharyn E. Dreyer wrote in the complaint.

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