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The Associated Press:

An Oregon parent wanted details about school employees getting paid to stay home. A retired educator sought data about student performance in Louisiana. And college journalists in Kentucky requested documents about the investigations of employees accused of sexual misconduct.

Instead, they got something else: sued by the agencies they had asked for public records.

Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests — taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense.

And an astute observation from user dvdhnt:

Many of us love to pat ourselves on the back for all the “free” knowledge and information available thanks to the internet, ignoring that most of what is available is merely entertainment and opinion.

Stories like this are a good reminder that the most valuable information is still being concealed by those with the power. They use their position, money, and authority to protect it at all costs.

We still have a long way to go.

Paul Ciano

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