The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Right of Access

Public Records Requests Related to School "Diversity/Equity/Inclusion" Programs

An interesting new Pennsylvania administrative decision on the subject.


Too detailed for me to go into detail here, but check it out if you're interested in the subject: Scheinler v. S. Lehigh Sch. Dist., decided last week by the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. The request covered matters such as:

All Records discussing whether it is reasonable, necessary, appropriate, advisable, or acceptable to label an SLSD student as "oppressed" or as an " "oppressor" based on the color of their skin or their race.

All Records relating to how SLSD defines, may define, uses, or interprets the terms "diversity," "equity," and "inclusion" (in their various forms) ….

All Records relating to the operation, findings, requests to, and recommendations of the "Equity" sub-committee ….

All Records confirming, disconfirming, acknowledging, or otherwise discussing whether there is systemic racism within SLSD in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

All Records relating to potential or planned changes to SLSD curriculum based on, relating to, or reflecting any aspect of CRT/DEI, including, without limitation, preliminary drafts or discussions of any such changes, by whom they were created, and why….

Keep in mind, of course, that public records laws differ from state to state, and that the federal FOIA generally applies just to federal agencies.