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Penn State's silence on Clery report shows need for public records reform

(07/16/13 1:08pm)

Last week, the Department of Education issued its preliminary report, part of its investigation into whether Pennsylvania State University violated the Clery Act in its handling of allegations of sexual abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. It will likely be years, though, before the public learns what the department uncovered in its far-reaching review of campus safety practices at the school since 1998 — one of the largest and most high-profile investigations ever. The reason for the secrecy is two-fold. A federal law requires the Department of Education to maintain the confidentiality of any program reviews until the final program report is issued.



Neshaminy newspaper adviser named Pennsylvania journalism teacher of the year

(06/11/14 12:00pm)

The last few months for the students of Neshaminy High School’s The Playwickian haven’t been easy. As the student staff has fought administrators for editorial control, their adviser Tara Huber has stood behind them at every step. Tuesday night, Huber found out she was being named Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania High School Press Association.“It makes it worth continuing to fight the good fight,” Huber said.In October, the staff announced they wouldn’t use the word Redskin – the school’s mascot – because they say it’s a racial slur. Administrators pushed back and demanded students print it.



Court rulings bolster public access to police videos

(07/12/15 1:24pm)

A recent court ruling puts Pennsylvania in the majority camp of states that have judicially recognized a right of public access to videos shot by automated cameras on police-car dashboards. Dash-cam videos have at times helped exposed police wrongdoing, though opponents argue that the videos can needlessly embarrass those being stopped by police.


Snap away: Pennsylvania becomes the seventh state to recognize a right to take smartphone photos of public records

(08/21/15 6:10pm)

A police department in Reserve, Pa., tried to stop a public-records requester from making his own duplicates of government expense-account documents. But the state open-records commission, adding Pennsylvania to a growing list of states, says there's a legal right to take pictures of government documents.