Football uber alles | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Football uber alles

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 2:50 PM

School board/superintendent arrogance knows no bounds in Arkansas, but throw in a little football and it reaches even greater heights.

I rise to defend the Paragould Daily Press, which has been forced to go to court to obtain records that clearly should be public: The basis for suspension of some Greene County Tech assistant football coaches as a result of as-yet unrevealed unpleasantness during a November trip to a Tech playoff football game in Monticello last fall. (Tech was waxed.)

The latest development is that the School District has informed the newspaper (edited by former Times staffer Janie Ginocchio) that it will not roll over to the lawsuit. It will challenge the constitutionality of the Freedom of Information Act requirement that disciplinary reports be released. It will argue an invasion of privacy. There is no compelling public interest in knowing why school officials disciplined football coaches, the school district's lawyer, Paul Blume, had sniffed earlier.

I think the public and legislature are better judges of what the public should know about public conduct of its employees while on official assignment. To call this a punishment is a stretch, by the way. It was a five-day suspension WITH PAY, Ginocchio tells me. A paid vacation in other words.

But it's football. Very important stuff.

So is the people's law.


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