Colorado Newsline: Last month, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education went into an executive session — a secret meeting — to discuss matters related to a shooting at East High School. The meeting proceeded for about five hours. This alone suggested that it was being conducted in violation of open meetings laws. When the board finally emerged into public session and, without discussion, unanimously adopted a significant new policy, it was clear the decision had really been made behind closed doors — a violation of the public’s right to know.
Elected government leaders in Colorado are prohibited from meeting out of public view. The state’s Open Meetings Law has a few well-defined exceptions, but it appears the members of the Denver school board broke the law when they conducted the March 23 executive session. The district has refused to make a recording of that secret meeting available to the public. That is why Colorado Newsline has joined a coalition of news outlets to sue the school district — to compel it to release the recording.
East High School families and all Coloradans have a right to know how school officials arrive at official decisions, and that right supersedes whatever motivation school board members had in forming policy out of the public eye.
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