The California Public Records Act says public agencies have to release information when journalists or any members of the public ask to see it. There are, of course, some records that are exempt, but sometimes agencies claim those exemptions to keep records secret. Such was the case when San Diego Unified School District withheld certain emails […]

In March, a Superior Court judge ruled in VOSD’s favor that San Diego Unified had improperly withheld emails between district staff, school board members and Superintendent Cindy Marten related to the removal of the former principal for the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

VOSD made a series of requests for emails related to former school board Trustee Marne Foster, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, Superintendent Cindy Marten and former principal Mitzi Lizarraga. The district complied with the requests, but redacted a number of records, arguing the information needed to remain confidential. The relevant legal question is whether the public’s right to know outweighs the agency’s right to protect information that could potentially cause it harm.

At a tense meeting, southeastern San Diego parents pressed school board president Mike McQuary for answers on how transparent the process to fill an empty school board seat. “We haven’t had somebody representing our interests for a long time,” they told him.