TALLHASSEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - An appeals court on Friday approved the release of names of University of Central Florida student-government leaders accused of misconduct, partially revising an earlier ruling in a public-records case.
A three-judge panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal in February ruled against Knight News, a student news organization that argued the university failed to comply with public-records requests and improperly refused to open student-conduct board hearings to the public. The judges, however, issued another ruling Friday that changed their position on one issue involving the identification of student-government leaders alleged to have been involved in misconduct.
The revised ruling said that information is not covered by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, which shields students' education records from release.
"(We) conclude that the names of student government officers charged with malfeasance in the performance of student government duties or alleged to have engaged in misconduct with regard to their election or appointment to their position, do not qualify as protected 'personally identifiable information' under FERPA because student government officers have implicitly consented to the dissemination of that information given Florida's statutory scheme concerning university student governments,'' said the six-page ruling, written by Judge Kerry Evander and joined by Chief Judge C. Alan Lawson and Judge James Edwards.
Information taken from The News Service of Florida.