Wilton (TX) school district admits to violating Freedom of Information Act

Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith recently testified at a Freedom of Information Commission hearing that the district “inadvertently” violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to properly notice the public of preschool committee meetings.

The hearing was held on Dec. 12, in response to a complaint Alex Ruskewich filed in February against the district and Wilton Preschool Committee. The committee was formed in the summer of 2016 at Smith’s request and was comprised of school staff, one Board of Education member and one parent.

Smith told the Board of Education at its general meeting Thursday he was not aware that non-Board of Education administrative committees, such as the preschool committee, require public notice for meetings.

At the time of the complaint, Smith said he called legal counsel and learned the requirements of the Freedom of Information law and directed appropriate personnel of other district committees to notice meetings thereafter.

“We’re going to take the next couple of months to post all the agendas, and everything will be up on Board Docs,” Smith said, referring to the Board of Education’s website where the public can access meeting minutes, agendas and notices.

However, Ruskewich said there was no excuse for the district’s inadvertent violation since there were Freedom of Information Act training sessions presented by Town Counsel Ira Bloom earlier this year and they were also videotaped. Read more…