A parent filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Loudoun County Public Schools and was asked to pay more than $36,000 for public records, according to the Daily Caller.
The outlet reported Thursday:
The FOIA requested by mother Michelle Mege asked for “all communications, including press releases, statements, emails, or other correspondence in any format within the LCPS possession” that use the words “sexual assault” or “rape” between May 1 and Oct. 18, 2021. The FOIA request was made in response to two sexual assaults that took place in Loudoun County high schools that parents allege the district tried to cover up.
Loudoun County Public Schools public information officer Wayde Byard explained the district had 100,065 “potential documents” related to the request, according to correspondence seen by the Caller.
He also claimed the hourly rate for reviewing the documents is $72.15.
“Retrieving these documents would take a half hour’s work by the supervisor of information technology at a cost of $36.08,” Byard noted.
“Review of these documents – at the rate of 200 per hour – is estimated to take 500 hours. This work would be performed by the public information officer at the rate of $72.15 per hour. Loudoun County Public Schools estimates it would cost $36,111.68 to fulfill this request,” he added.
The rate of $72.15 was reportedly common for Loudoun County Public Schools, according to additional FOIA’s the Caller reviewed.
“Scott Mineo, an LCPS parent who operates a concerned parent organization, was charged $180.37 for two and half hours of work. Mineo was asked to pay $432.90 for five hours of work to review 958 emails for ‘exemptions and possible redactions,’” the outlet said.
Meanwhile, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors member Juli Briskman described parents against the county’s alleged sexual assault coverup and Critical Race Theory (CRT) curriculum as “alt-right” once concerned parent group Fight For Schools (FFS) filed to recall the school board chair Brenda Sheridan, Breitbart News reported in November.
In a social media post, Briskman gave a response to FFS’s petition from an apparently left-wing group, Loudoun 4 All:
TY @loudoun4all for a factual & thorough debunking of the alt-right FFS petitions.
If they want to fight for schools they should support teacher pay increases, more mental health resources and ending the school to prison pipeline. https://t.co/UKj9IfBmHM
— Juli Briskman (@julibriskman) November 12, 2021
Ian Prior, who is the founder of Fight For Schools, said during a recent interview with the Caller that he viewed the dollar amount as “concerning” and claimed it was a “roadblock” to keep parents from discovering the full extent of alleged sexual assault in the district.
“The fact that there are potentially 100,000 documents responsive to this request is extremely concerning,” Prior commented.
“But it is equally concerning that Loudoun County Public Schools would put up a $36,000 roadblock in front of parents trying to find out the extent of sexual assaults occurring in our schools, especially since LCPS has not been reporting those sexual assaults to the state as is required by law,” he concluded.